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England star Jo Harten excited by Australia series

Jo Harten
It's the number one side in the world versus the number three side in the world so expect a good show

England shooter Jo Harten

Jo Harten believes England have a great chance of beating the world's best team Australia when the two sides meet in next month's three-match series.

England face the Aussies in Liverpool on Friday, 19 February, Nottingham (Saturday, 21 February) and London (Tuesday, 23 February).

And Loughborough Lightning skipper Harten told BBC Sport the Co-Operative series promises to be tight, exciting and the perfect challenge for England.

"It's great to test yourself against the best and I'm really exited because I'm in a team capable of beating them," the England shooter told BBC Sport. "We all want to be part of a team that can challenge the top side."

In October England recorded their first victory over Australia in 26 years, winning 25-19 in the group stages of the World Netball Series.

The Australians had their revenge in the third-place play-off, beating England and also won a one-off Test 55-44 in October.

But Harten, 20, believes the historic victory in the Fast Net version of the sport proves the team have the talent to compete with the best.

"It was a brilliant series last time they came over and although they pipped us in the last match we have really improved," Harten added.

"We were so close and that has given us a confidence, a belief and helped the team spirit. We have a good mix of youth and experience and I'm just eager to get on the court and face them."

Jo Harten in action for England against Jamaica
Jo Harten is on target for England against Jamaica in 2009

"We lost a one-off Test against them four or five months ago and although we lost, we learned a lot from it. The defeat was because our mistakes rather than their brilliance.

Harten is also looking forward to playing in front of large, enthusiastic crowds. And the second match at the Nottingham Arena is particularly appealing.

"It's a really exciting arena; it's close to home and there should be a sell-out crowd," Harten explained.

But all the matches are expected to attract big crowds and Harten hopes it will also help bring in a new generation of fans.

"Loads of school kids are interested and they will hopefully be inspired be what they see," she said. "But it's not just for the youngsters.

"This gives you the different side of netball; perfect opportunity to take in top-class netball. It's the number one side in the world versus the number three side in the world so expect a good show."

England face Australia at the Echo Arena in Liverpool on Friday, 19 February. The second match is at the Nottingham Arena two days later and the final match takes place at London's O2 Arena.

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see also
Netball results
24 May 06 |  Netball
Australia gain revenge on England
11 Oct 09 |  Netball
Historic England stun Australia
10 Oct 09 |  Netball
Harten out for Loughborough glory
31 Jan 08 |  Netball

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