England’s Commonwealth Games squads are honing their preparations for Glasgow with an ‘Ashes’ clash against Australia in Preston on Sunday.
Both men’s and women’s squads will take on their counterparts from Down Under – with a trophy at stake for the victors over the three singles and two doubles format.
England performance coach Alan Cooke says the match is a key part of the squad’s build-up to the Games.
“It’s the only official matchplay we’ve had for some time,” he said. “Although we know how the squad are doing in training, putting them in a slightly more pressurised environment is helpful.
“It’s the perfect time for us to see where we are before the Games competition starts four days later.
“Having a match at this stage is important for both teams and both will want to play well. There’s always an edge to England versus Australia and we want to get one over on them.”
The match takes place at the Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre, part of the University of Central Lancashire, and Cooke added: “It’s good to be back in Preston because they’ve supported us on a number of occasions before.”
Spectators are welcome at the event, which provides a rare opportunity to see the England team in action in this country. Tickets cost £3 on the door and the match starts at 2pm.
If you cannot make it to Preston, we will be providing updates on our website and via social media.
England: Andrew Baggaley, Paul Drinkhall, Liam Pitchford, Daniel Reed, Sam Walker; Joanna Drinkhall, Hannah Hicks, Tin-Tin Ho, Karina Le Fevre, Kelly Sibley.
Australia: William Henzell, Heming Hu, David Powell, Kane Townsend, Chris Yan; Vivian Dederko, Jian Fang Lay, Miao Miao, Melissa Tapper, Sally Zhang.