Netball World Cup qualifiers: Wales without goal-shooter Chelsea Lewis in Perth

Wales goal-shooter Chelsea Lewis joined Team Bath from Celtic Dragons after the 2015 Netball World Cup
Wales goal-shooter Chelsea Lewis joined Team Bath from Celtic Dragons after the 2015 Netball World Cup
Netball Europe World Cup qualifiers: Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland
Venue: Perth College UHI Date: 19-21 January
Scotland v Wales coverage: Fri, 19 January, watch live on the BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, from 19:30 GMT
Northern Ireland v Wales coverage: Sat, 20 January, watch live on the BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, from 19:30 GMT

Chelsea Lewis will miss Wales' World Cup qualifiers against Scotland and Northern Ireland this weekend after taking a six-month break from international netball.

The goal-shooter did not feature in the series win against Samoa in December and will not be part of their bid to reach the 2019 tournament in Liverpool.

Lewis, 24, will continue to play for Team Bath in the Super League.

"We respect and support her decision at this time," said coach Trish Wilcox.

"Players do quite often take a break from international netball and that's the decision Chelsea has made at this time.

"Chelsea will be continuing to play for Team Bath in the Super League and we look forward to seeing her put good performances in.

"It's not definite at all and we look forward to welcoming Chelsea back into the Welsh squad in the future."

Lewis scored 232 times for Wales at the 2015 World Cup in Australia as Wales secured seventh place, their highest finish since 1991, but will now also miss this year's Commonwealth Games.

Wilcox is confident that she will return to the team eventually, but is focusing on what they can achieve without her as they bid to join hosts England in next year's competition.

Squad 'has grown'

This weekend's qualifiers in Perth, Scotland, sees the hosts, Wales and Northern Ireland compete for the two remaining European places at the 2019 World Cup, with hosts England already qualified.

Wales begin against Scotland on Friday, 19th January at 19:30 GMT and then face a tight turnaround as they play Northern Ireland the following afternoon at 15:00 GMT, with both games being shown live on the BBC.

In Lewis' absence, Georgia Rowe, 22, is likely to shoulder the main goal-shooter duties with Sarah Llewellyn, 21, at goal-attack.

Eleanor Roberts, 22, who made her Wales Test debut in last December's win over Samoa is another option at goal-shooter.

"Chelsea is a strong and valuable member of the Welsh squad and has been for many years, but the squad that we've got going into the World Cup qualifiers has really grown," Wilcox added.

"We've got players that have stepped up in all positions across the court and they're really looking forward to putting their good performances out there.

"We're excited to see how they match up against Scotland and Northern Ireland, which will be very closely contested matches."

Wales: Suzy Drane (captain), Kelly Morgan (vice-captain), Georgia Rowe, Eleanor Roberts, Cara Lea Moseley, Sarah Llewellyn, Clare Jones, Kyra Jones, Bethan Dyke, Lateisha Kidner, Fern Davies, Nia Jones.

Top Stories

Featured