19 December 2020

Saracens Mavericks and Surrey Storm out of Rise Again Festival due to Covid

Surrey Storm and Saracens Mavericks will not play in this weekend’s Rise Again Festival due to Covid-19.

A Mavericks player was showing symptoms of Covid-19 and as Storm played them on Tuesday both teams are unable to travel to Manchester for the tournament.

Mavericks head coach Kat Ratnapala said: “We are extremely disappointed to withdraw from this event, but the health and safety of all players and staff involved, and their families, is paramount.

“Upon hearing the news of the symptoms, we made a decision which we feel is the right one for our players, staff and their families and everyone at Manchester Thunder.”

They were due to play in a series of friendlies this weekend in the festival being held in Thunder’s home stadium of Belle Vue Sports Village. The event is being billed as bringing netball back together after the Vitality Superleague was cancelled due to the pandemic earlier this year.

The schedule for the tournament has now been slightly amended as the two teams have had to bow out.

The games going ahead today will be Loughborough Lightning v Leeds Rhinos at 12 and Manchester Thunder v Strathclyde Sirens at 2.

Festival organiser, the Manchester Thunder Managing Director Debbie Hallas, said: “It is ironic – and typical of 2020 – that our festival of netball aiming to bring together some of our biggest stars for live action has been hit directly by Covid-19. 

“We’re clearly gutted by the news but wish the symptomatic player well and hope their result comes back negative.”

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