NETBALL: DEFENDING Superleague champions Wasps Netball will start their 2018 campaign against arch-rivals Surrey Storm.
The full fixture schedule for the 2018 season was announced on Tuesday, and Tamsin Greenway’s side will be looking to repeat the heroics of last season.
Following their opening fixture – a home tie against Surrey on Saturday, February 10 – Wasps will then travel to Worcester to take on midlands rivals Severn Stars on February 17.
Greenway’s team will have to wait until their fifth fixture for a re-match of the 2017 Grand Final, when they travel to face Loughborough Lightning on March 3.
The season will also feature five Ricoh Arena home games in a row, starting with Team Northumbria on March 10 and closing with the visit of Manchester Thunder on April 27.
Wasps Netball will round off their regular season with an away fixture at Team Northumbria on June 23 – with the Final Four play-offs taking place the following weekend.
Greenway said: “It will be a really good test for our team to start at home against a strong side like Surrey Storm.
“This season is going to be hugely competitive, every team has strengthened during the off-season and we know we will have to step up our game to another level to challenge again this season.
“Of course, you look to the games against the likes of Surrey Storm, Loughborough Lightning and Team Bath to give you some idea of where you are at, but I’m expecting teams like Sirens and Severn Stars to push on in their second season in the league too.
“We’ve recruited well and have the quality to compete at the very top, as always the goal is to reach the Final Four and from there anything can happen.
“It’s always tough going into the season as champions, but we are looking forward to the challenge.”