Netball World Cup 2023: Who are England’s rivals in Cape Town?

The 2023 Netball World Cup starts on Friday July 28 and will run until Sunday August 6, with England, Scotland and Wales all taking part; all games will be live on Sky Sports, with one game per day available on the Sky Sports YouTube channel

        Netball World Cup 2023: Who are England's rivals in Cape Town?

Australia arrive as favourites for the Netball World Cup in Cape Town

For the first time in Netball World Cup history, Africa is the host continent for the tournament and welcomes 16 teams to Cape Town.

Netball South Africa automatically qualified this year as the hosts, but would have also qualified thanks to their fifth-placed ranking as of August 12, 2022.

The leading contenders to look out for in this year’s tournament are England, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, and the hosts South Africa.

England remain in search of their first gold since hosting the very first Netball World Cup in 1963, winning one silver and six bronze medals in that time.

Head coach Jess Thirlby is determined to change that and has selected a strong squad including a blend of experienced players and young stars.

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Geva Mentor and Jade Clarke will each be making an incredible sixth appearance at a World Cup, whilst South Africa will mark not only the first World Cup but also the first major international call-up for youthful rising stars Funmi Fadoju and Olivia Tchine.

The Vitality Roses will begin their campaign against Barbados on day one.

        Netball World Cup 2023: Who are England's rivals in Cape Town?

Debutants Funmi Fadoju, Liv Tchine and Laura Malcolm look ahead to a thrilling Netball World Cup in South Africa What to watch on Sky Sports this week

Final Men’s Ashes Test – July 27 to 31 – LIVE on Sky Sports Cricket
Premier League Summer Series – from July 23 – LIVE on Sky Sports Premier League
Belgian Grand Prix – July 28 to 30- LIVE on Sky Sports F1
Stephen Fulton vs Naoya Inoue – July 25– LIVE on Sky Sports Action
Seniesa Estrada v Leonela Yudica – July 29 – LIVE on Sky Sports Action
Netball World Cup – July 28 to Ausgust 6 – LIVE on Sky Sports Action
Australia v New Zealand – July 29 – LIVE on Sky Sports Action
St Helens v Leeds – July 28 – LIVE on Sky Sports Action

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Sky Netball social presenters Sasha and Kadeen Corbin, who previously played for England, have been confirmed as players in this year’s Bajan Gems squad.

Sasha recently announced her retirement from netball, so a final run-out on the court with her teammate and sister for Barbados will be essential viewing for fans.

Challenging England’s impressive shooting duo of Eleanor Cardwell and Helen Housby will be the likes of Australia’s Courtney Bruce.

Bruce dominates the circle working alongside Jo Weston, who was unstoppable during the Quad Series, and who will be looking to break down an intense holding shooter such as Cardwell.

The last time Australia lost to England was in the 2019 Quad series, where despite losing in the last match of the series, Australia successfully defended their title against the Roses on goal difference.

A long-term rivalry between Australia and England has become more heated since the latter’s victory on the Gold Coast at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and Australia’s subsequent re-claiming of gold in Birmingham last year.

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England will be fighting to regain momentum after achieving third place in the Quad series this year, a tournament in which Australia went undefeated on their way to victory.

New Zealand are the reigning champions, having beaten 11-time winners Australia by one point in the 2019 World Cup final in Liverpool.

New Zealand captain and long-range shooter Ameliaranne Ekenasio, who played a pivotal part in the Silver Ferns 2019 World Cup-winning triumph, will be looking to improve on her team’s previous performance in South Africa.

In the Quad series there earlier this year, they narrowly missed out to Australia, going home with the silver medal.

Jamaica are a side to keep one eye on in South Africa, having finished fifth in the last World Cup. Multiple players have been retained from the team that competed in 2019, ensuring a solid foundation of experience within the squad.

Jamaica secured Commonwealth silver last summer, putting England out of the medals. Coming into a World Cup off such a high while armed with the world’s number one shooter in Jhaniele Fowler, the Sunshine Girls are a team to watch for the medal positions.

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South Africa will be inspired on the court by the passionate home crowds that will turn out to greet them. As the team ranked fifth in the world and playing at home, they can be expected to do well.

The other African teams cannot be overlooked, with vastly experienced players in the mix such as Mwai Kumwenda, who was named player of the tournament in the 2015 World Cup for the Malawi Queens.

There are some pivotal shooters from the British Netball Super League representing Uganda this year in Mary Nuba Cholhok, who won the Super League title with Loughborough Lightning this Summer, and Peace Proscovia, who played for Surrey Storm.

You can catch all games live on Sky Sports starting Friday, July 28.

How can I watch the Netball World Cup?

Sky Sports will show every match of the 2023 Netball World Cup live, with one game per day available on the Sky Sports YouTube channel.

Alongside the live coverage, former England stars Pamela Cookey and Eboni Usoro-Brown will join Caroline Barker in Cape Town, giving viewers expert insight and analysis of the competition.

Highlights will be available daily on the Sky Sports App, allowing fans to catch up on any action they may have missed.