The Origin Australian Diamonds international series against Netball England’s Vitality Roses will not go ahead next month due to the ongoing closure of the trans-Tasman travel bubble and the implications of travel and quarantine.
Dates and venues for the series were yet to be confirmed as Netball Australia worked tirelessly on the Roses’ entry into the country.
The Roses completed 14 days of hotel quarantine in Christchurch from August 27, ahead of their series with the New Zealand Silver Ferns.
The Roses planned to travel to Australia through the trans-Tasman travel bubble, which was closed by the Australian Government on August 31.
Netball Australia, in consultation with state governments, has been progressing quarantine plans to meet the federal government’s 14-day quarantine requirements.
The series was cancelled based on a combination of factors, including the health and wellbeing of athletes, coaches and performance staff and limited opportunities to prepare for a series between two of the world’s best netball nations.
The Roses will return to England in the coming days, while the Diamonds remain on the Sunshine Coast for a two-week training camp.
The Diamonds are planning match-play and fan engagement opportunities, with further details to be communicated.
Netball Australia CEO Kelly Ryan said navigating elite sport and international competition during the coronavirus pandemic was a constant challenge.
“We are incredibly disappointed that this series will not go ahead,” Ryan said.
“We thank Netball England, Netball New Zealand and the state and federal governments for their support and unwavering commitment to play this series.
“The evolving COVID-19 restrictions meant that the Roses would have completed two quarantine periods during the series, which has significant impacts on health and wellbeing and performance.
“I am proud of Diamonds head coach Stacey Marinkovich and our athletes and staff for their commitment, resilience and understanding during these uncertain times.
“This program wouldn’t be possible without our fantastic partners who continue to stand by us as we navigate elite sport during a global pandemic, including naming rights partner Origin Energy and major partners Nissan, Suncorp and Woolworths.
“The Origin Australian Diamonds will make the most of their two-week training camp on the Sunshine Coast, with match-play and fan engagement opportunities to be worked through in the coming days.”