Quashie and Rattu reflect on Nations Cup openers
With less than a month to go before the Netball Super League gets underway, fans have been whetting their appetites for the upcoming season at the Vitality Nations Cup.
Over 12,400 fans enjoyed the opening weekend at OVO Arena Wembley with many more heading to Leeds this weekend to watch the Vitality Roses battle it out against Australia, New Zealand and Uganda.
Saracens Mavericks fans will have been delighted to see Razia Quashie and Ellie Rattu in the squad for the Nations Cup, as well as Vicki Oyesola and Emma Thacker in the England A set up.
Quashie was back in the red dress for the first time since November 2020 as she started both matches against Uganda and Australia, putting on a defensive masterclass against the world number one team on Sunday.
A victory over Uganda was followed by a narrow defeat to Australia, but Quashie saw the positives from the weekend, as she returned to the international scene. With the start of the NSL season just weeks away, Quashie felt that there were a lot of learnings she could take into a Mavericks dress too.
“I haven’t been in the set up for the past three years so coming back in has been amazing. The culture that we’re trying to build is so strong and it’s great to be a part of that. Fitness wise, it’s going to be amazing! I’ve done so much work on my defence. I’ll take that through to Mavericks and build on it with Jodie [Gibson] & Vicki [Oyesola.] Vicki’s in the Roses programme as well and we’ve been working together, so that will be great for our defensive partnership going forward.”
Summer recruit Ellie Rattu also featured against Uganda for Jess Thirlby's side.
Rattu explained that it was an honour to be in the England side, as she also looked forward to running out in Mavs colours come the start of the season.
“It’s a privileged place to be and there’s exciting things ahead. I felt very lucky to be in both the Nations Cup and England A squad, so I’ve been playing with Raz, Emma and Vicki. I’m super excited to get back to Mavs after this and grow with the team. I think we’re going to do some really good stuff this year. Playing international netball is going to help with the upcoming NSL season massively. I’m excited to be a Mav and I know that being a Mav will help me be a better international player too - it’s a two-way relationship.”
Rattu was also full of praise for teammate Quashie, explaining that they have been rooming together on international duty.
“Playing with Raz is great, She’s amazing, such a powerhouse. We are roommates too, which is a real bonding experience!”
Quashie agreed, as she laughed about their similar habits as roommates!
“We’re just the best roommates - we’re so similar and we have the same sleep schedule. It’s going to be great to take that level of compatibility and mutual respect forward into the Saracens Mavericks. It’s going to be a great season!”
Razia Quashie and Ellie Rattu will be back at OVO Arena Wembley on 7 April, joined by their Saracens Mavericks teammates, as they play Manchester Thunder in 'The Headliner'. Buy your tickets here.
Report by Ayisha Gulati.