Natalie excited ahead of fulfilling Games ambition

Barrowford's Natalie Haythornthwaite
Barrowford's Natalie Haythornthwaite

Barrowford’s Natalie Haythornthwaite was part of the Team England squad who started their quest for success at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in Australia yesterday.

The England Roses are aiming to go one better this year, having finished fourth in Glasgow in 2014, as they look to add to the three bronze medals won since the sport was introduced to the Games in 1998.

It is a first Commonwealth Games for the 25-year-old Wasps star, who said: “I’ve been working towards this for years.

“I remember watching the girls in Glasgow and thinking how much I wanted to be a part of it.

“It’s been a huge ambition of mine.

“To get here and be picked for the Commonwealth Games, especially given the amount of talent we’ve got in England, it means the absolute world.

“The girls just missed out on making the final four years ago so that’s the aim this time around –the final.

“Once you make the qualification rounds, anything can happen.”

England headed into the Games on the back of victories over South Africa and New Zealand, helping them to their best-ever finish in the Quad Series.

England are in Pool B, and started their campaign yesterday against Scotland.

Today they take on Malawi, and the Roses have a day off tomorrow before they face Uganda on Sunday.

On Monday, they are up against Wales, with their final group game on Wednesday against New Zealand.

The top two teams in each group qualify for the semi-finals, which both take place a week tomorrow.

The final is on Sunday, April 15th, as is the bronze medal match for the beaten semi-finalists.