Bedford's Ellie Rattu thrilled by England netball call-up

Ellie Rattu knows she has her mum to thank for her long-awaited inclusion in England’s new-look netball squad.
Ellie Rattu pictured during the match between England Roses and Jamaica at the Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham in December 2021. Photo: Ben Lumley.Ellie Rattu pictured during the match between England Roses and Jamaica at the Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham in December 2021. Photo: Ben Lumley.
Ellie Rattu pictured during the match between England Roses and Jamaica at the Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham in December 2021. Photo: Ben Lumley.

The 22-year-old from Bedford has been named in head coach Jess Thirlby’s side to face Uganda over a three-match series and is in line to win her first cap.

Squad announcement day often involves a daunting wait for players longing to hear their fate, but it seems that Rattu was more relaxed than one might expect.

“I was very happy to get that email with my name on it, it's always a bit of a panic because you start scanning down the names,” she recalled.

“But as soon as you see yours, it's just a nice bit of relief and excitement.

“I think I was in bed and my mum had come in and said, ‘Oh, don't you find out now?’ And I was like, ‘No, mum, not yet.’

“And then I checked my phone, and it was there. So I had to go back downstairs and say that I had found out.”

Though Rattu has enjoyed a stellar international career at youth level and been a part of the best-performing Pulse side in the franchise’s short history, she knows that she will have to be patient for opportunities with England and seize them when they do come.

“I think being on tours from Under-17 and Under-19s with England, the Roses academy definitely prepares you for understanding what it's like to be away from home for that period of time and being in camp for a long period of time. All you are doing is netball,” she explained.

“So I think that's been really, really beneficial. But I think it's always going to be a shock going up to international standard.

“It's not like playing your age group, it's the top dogs, it's the best in the world.

“It's definitely going to be a shock to the system, but hopefully one that I can manage.”

Rattu should feel right at home during the series with Uganda, who finished fifth during the summer’s Commonwealth Games, with two fixtures taking place at Pulse’s home venue, the Copper Box Arena.

And Rattu says that she has taken her game to a new level under the tutelage of Pulse performance director Lisa Alexander, who spent nine years as head coach of the Australian Diamonds.

“She just is very good at talking about the little one percenters,” explained Rattu.

“You know that it's not just on court, it's everything that builds up around that.

“So it's how you prepare, your sleep, your mindset and everything else. So I think it's learning those sorts of things off the court and how they will then translate on court as well.

“But equally all the technical work that we've done with Pulse in the past couple of years, those connections, a lot of the girls from Pulse are playing this series, so having connections should prove helpful on court.”

Tickets to see the Vitality Roses in action against Uganda are still available from the England Netball website

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