Despite it taking 56 hours to get from Cardiff to Durban, on arrival at King Shaka International Airport the Welsh players were upbeat and excited to be in South Africa.

Delays in flights meant inevitable knock-on effects on connecting flights.  However, Wales captain Suzy Drane, who received her 75th Welsh cap this year, said her team are “delighted and excited” to be in South Africa.

Wales, ranked eighth in world netball will meet fifth ranked South African Proteas in the upcoming SPAR Challenge over three test games this weekend 17-19 June at the Durban International Convention Centre.

“It was a mammoth trip with lots of complications but we made the most of it”, said Wales captain Drane.  “The time together allowed us to gel as a team.  We knew we had no other option so although it was a challenge we turned a negative into a positive, which I feel will bid us well for the upcoming series against the SPAR Proteas.”

Drane said the delays also gave the Seniors a chance to meet and warm to the Under 21 players.  “We don’t know our U21 players that well and seeing they are the future Welsh stars we had a great opportunity to meet them and share our knowledge with them.”

Wales U21 will play their South African counterparts in three games, each preceding the official tests.  

The U21 Wales team will take advantage of the opportunity to prepare for their upcoming Netball Europe tournament in October 2016. This year U21 Netball Europe is also a qualifying tournament for the U21 World Youth Cup in Botswana.

Wales and South Africa have played each other eleven times in international netball but have yet to beat them.  This is the first time Wales will be playing in South Africa.