England will face Home Nation rivals Scotland, Uganda and Samoa in the Preliminaries Stage One of the Netball World Cup 2019.
In Group A, Northern Ireland will have a challenging clash against defending champions Australia and will also face Sri Lanka and the Zimbabwe team, who are competing in their first Netball World Cup.
Excitement is mounting, with the three qualifying Home Nations teams already looking forward to their NWC2019 fixtures.
England coach Tracey Neville said: ‘’I think all nations have been waiting for the draw for the Netball World Cup so we can forecast who we’re going to be up against, prepare our teams and set our game plans. We had a really close game against Uganda at the Commonwealth Games and our Home Nations are always coming out to battle as well, so that brings on a really exciting outlook for us.”
Commenting on their England clash and other Group D opponents, Scotland team captain Claire Maxwell, (formerly Brownie), said: “Obviously it’s a tough group but I believe every group is tough with where netball is at the moment. There will be some incredible talent on display with players at the top of their game, including Uganda’s Peace Proscovia, who is going from strength to strength and is one of the key players in world netball.’’
Talking about their Group A fixtures, Northern Ireland’s captain, Caroline O’Hanlon, said: ‘’Obviously all the teams who’ve qualified are going to be good and we want to be playing against the best, like Australia who we faced at the Commonwealth Games. We were up against Sri Lanka in the last World Cup and they’re tough to play against. We don’t know anything about Zimbabwe but they’re an up and coming team, which is exciting.’’
In the other Preliminaries Stage One groups, Jamaica and South Africa will meet along with Trinidad and Tobago and Fiji in Group C. In Group B Malawi will take on 3rd seeds New Zealand, with Barbados and Singapore completing the line-up.
The event – which is to be delivered by Netball World Cup 2019 Limited in partnership with the INF, England Netball, UK Sport, Liverpool City Council and ACC Liverpool – takes place at Echo Arena Liverpool from 12-21 July 2019.
The full competition schedule and Preliminaries Stage One fixtures can be viewed at http://www.nwc2019.co.uk/schedule/.