Wasps Netball have named their 15-player squad for the 2020 Vitality Netball Superleague season.
The two-time champions have announced two new key senior additions to the squad with the signings of full-time England Roses star Iona Christian (formerly Darroch) and Australian attacker Alexia Baker.
Wing Attack/Centre Christian joins from Severn Stars, while Goal Attack Baker arrives from Suncorp Super Netball side Queensland Firebirds.
The 2020 season will see the return of highly respected and experienced trio Rachel Dunn, vice-captain Jade Clarke, and club captain Hannah Knights.
It will be Knights’ fourth season as captain of Wasps, while Dunn and Clarke return following a summer representing England at the World Cup.
Knights said: “I’m really excited to be back with Wasps for the 2020 season. It continues to be an honour to captain this great club and such a brilliant bunch of players.
“I can’t wait to get back out there on court and start the challenge for a third title in Black and Gold.”
Fran Williams will return in the upcoming season having also featured in the bronze medal-winning World Cup squad in Liverpool. Williams has developed into one of the country’s top up-and-coming players and played a valuable part in Wasps’ journey to the Grand Final last season.
Goal Keeper Josie Huckle and Wing Defence Amy Flanagan have also returned, while Tamsin Moala and Katie Harris will both feature for a second season for Wasps in the shooting circle.
Sophia Candappa, who has recently given birth to her first son, is set to make a welcome return on court for the Black and Gold this season whilst continuing her role within the player leadership group.
Wasps have also secured the signatures of four young stars to complete their 15-player squad.
Beth Dix returns to the Superleague squad for a second season, with England U21 defender Ally Housley, Hannah Leighton and Sienna Rushton all graduating from the pathway squad to senior selection.
Changes in the 2020 rules means that there is a matchday bench of 10 from a registered 15 which gives increasing competition and opportunities for up-and-coming talent to contend for a place in the matchday squad.
Head Coach Mel Mansfield added: “It has been a busy summer assembling this squad but it has all been worth it, and we have a fantastic group ready for the hard work ahead.
“We have retained a vast amount of experience while also recruiting two new signings with Alexia Baker and Iona Christian.
“We are looking forward to welcoming Iona and Lexi into the group and excited to see how their flare and creativity will add to our attacking line-up.
“It is also pleasing to see three young stars in Ally, Hannah and Sienna graduating from our pathway programme into the senior squad.
“I’m excited to work with all 15 of these players and we feel this squad is capable of challenging for the league title.”
Wasps Netball 2020 full squad list
Hannah Knights GK/GD (Captain)
Josie Huckle GK
Fran Williams GD/WD
Ally Housley DEFENDER
Hannah Leighton DEFENDER
Iona Christian C/WA
Jade Clarke C/WD (Vice-Captain)
Amy Flanagan WD/C
Sophia Candappa C/WA
Beth Dix C/WA
Rachel Dunn GS
Katie Harris GA/GS
Alexia Baker GA
Tamsin Moala GA/GS
Sienna Rushton GA