Suddenly those predictions of a Australia v England Commonwealth Games final don't seem so fanciful.

The English Roses 49-45 Quad Series defeat of the Silver Ferns last night has given world netball a shake-up as crunch time in the four-year cycle approaches.

England have long been talked up as a potential threat to the world netball's established order, but that chatter has got louder this season with Netball Australia seemingly taking on the role as the Roses' hype girls.

They reason because England has several athletes playing, and in the cases of Geva Mentor, Serena Guthrie and Jo Harten starring, in the Australian league that the Roses will soon be challenging for the top spot in world netball. (That the England Netball has had a $30 million cash injection from a lotteries grant, $5.3m of which is directed to the national programme is, apparently, immaterial).


Ironically, what makes England a real threat at next year's Commonwealth Games is that their players won't be playing in the Australian league in the lead-up. With the Gold Coast tournament kicking off in April next year, the start of the Australian competition has been pushed back to May. This will afford English coach Tracey Neville a luxury that her predecessors haven't tended to have since the introduction of the now defunct transtasman league - time together as a unit.

Having their key players based on the other side of the world for large chunk of the year has had a detrimental affect on England's preparation for pinnacle events. While some of England's key players now reside in Australia permanently, their franchise commitments won't be as great over the next eight months, allowing Neville to hold regular squad camps.

But we should be wary of trumpeting the arrival of a new era of England netball supremacy on the basis of one performance.

There have been many false dawns for the Roses. They were supposed to be contesting for the gold at the 2011 World Cup, and then again at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and then again at the World Cup the following year in Sydney.

The English have proven capable of pulling off one-off wins against the Ferns, what they haven't been able to do is do it consistently. For that reason next week's three-test series between New Zealand and England will be a better gauge of the relative strengths of each team.

The the last time the English beat the Ferns in late 2014, New Zealand came back to demolish the Roses by 14 goals in the second test.

That loss prompted a dramatic rethink in Waimarama Taumaunu's programme, resulting in series of bold changes ahead of the World Cup. But Janine Southby isn't in the position where she can implement widespread changes to her squad.

The Silver Ferns have already undergone significant change over the past year, with a record eight players making their international debut in the space of 12 months.

Last night's loss shows there is a long way to go with the rebuild.