Wales captain Suzy Drane, captain of Celtic Dragons.

Wales Host Major Netball Europe Netball Event In Cardiff

Cardiff will host a major netball tournament during October.

The Europe Open Championships will be held at Sport Wales National Centre, from Thursday, October 5 to Sunday, October 8.

Wales will take on England, Scotland and Northern Ireland over the four days.

England are ranked third in the World, while Wales are eighth, Northern Ireland 10th and Scotland 12th.

The Fijian Pearls team are also coming to Cardiff for the first time and will be playing ranking matches against each of the European countries.

Fiji are currently seventh in the World and will be playing world ranking games against each of the European countries.

Wales, England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Fiji are among 12 teams from around the world who have qualified for the Commonwealth Games in Australia next year.

The groups and fixtures for the Commonwealth Games have been announced and Wales have been drawn into pool B and will face New Zealand, England, Scotland, Malawi and Uganda next April.

The Europe Championships in Cardiff will be a key opportunity for the four teams to put their training and preparations on display ahead of the world stage at the Gold Coast, Australia.

“The Open Championships in October will be an opportunity for the Wales squad to prepare for their performance at the Commonwealth Games,” says Welsh netball’s head of performance Rosie Pretorius,

“It will be of great advantage to us to play England and Scotland who we will face again next April in pool B.”

It has been an exciting year for Welsh netball as they hosted New Zealand’s famous netball team, the Silver Ferns, at an historic test series in February this year.

The Test Series saw an unprecedented attendance with 5,300 people watching world class netball at the Ice Arena Wales.

Pretorius believes that the popularity of the test series against the Kiwis showed there is a hunger for more top quality netball in Wales.

“It’s an exciting time for netball in Wales,” said Pretorius. “Our historic test series against the Silver Ferns earlier this year drew attention from all over the country and showed there’s a real interest and hunger for more elite netball to be held in Wales.”

Tickets for the Open Championships will be released via www.ticketline.co.uk and the long weekend of netball is expected to sell out fast.

Welsh Netball are looking for volunteers to assist during the event, including team hostesses, ball girls and boys and event stewards.  If you’d like to be part of the excitement and contribute to its success, go to www.welshnetball.com for details of all the volunteering opportunities available.

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