The Netball World Cup gets underway in Cape Town today and the Vitality Roses will kick off their campaign against Barbados live on Sky Sports.
The Vitality Roses currently sit third in the World Rankings, 11 places above their opening-game opponents. But the Bajan Gems have a couple of familiar faces in their squad who will be looking to make a difference.
Former Roses Sasha and Kadeen Corbin, who have been stand-out performers for their Netball Super League (NSL) clubs in 2023, have made the switch to play for Barbados.
Both @Sasha_Corbin & I are so humbled, our hearts are full, it’s a dream come true, never thought we’d get to play on the international stage again. What an absolute honour and exciting opportunity to be named to represent Barbados at NWC in South Africa 🇧🇧💎 pic.twitter.com/nfz9e56qnD
— Kadeen Corbin (@Kadeen_Corbin) June 22, 2023
For Sasha Corbin, this is set to be her last run out on court after she announced in May she was retiring from netball.
The last time Barbados met the Vitality Roses was back at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. England came out on top, 69-27 with Helen Housby, Jade Clarke and Geva Mentor all featuring, alongside Sasha Corbin who will now walk out in yellow and blue at her first Netball World Cup.
Ones to watch:
After making over 70 appearances for the Roses, and having played with many of the current squad at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Kadeen Corbin will know a lot about England’s strengths. Fran Williams, who had an impressive NSL campaign with the 2023 champions Loughborough Lightning, whilst winning Fans’ Player of the Season, will be hoping she can thwart the attacker’s threat in the circle alongside the experienced Geva Mentor.
Who’s a fan of Fran? 🙋
— Netball Super League (@NetballSL) June 13, 2023
Just outside the defensive circle, Roses co-captain Layla Guscoth will be keeping a close eye on Sasha. After announcing she would be playing at the World Cup, Layla was one of the first players Sasha spoke to about the possibility of coming up against one another. The Surrey Storm defender is no stranger to the speed and tenacity of the Saracens Mavericks star and will be looking to disrupt her rhythm in the attacking third.
Elsewhere, Barbados goal attack, Latonia Blackman will be another player to watch in this game. Representing her country at her sixth World Cup, equalling the record of Trinidad and Tobago’s Rhonda John-Davis alongside the Roses’ Jade Clarke and Geva Mentor, Blackman is looking at playing some of her best netball yet.
Where to watch:
Tune into the Vitality Roses’ first match of the tournament live on Sky Sports Arena and Sky Sports YouTube.
You can also follow live text commentary on the BBC Sport website.
After Friday’s opener against Barbados, the Vitality Roses will conclude Preliminaries Stage One over the weekend with back-to-back games against Malawi and Home Nation rivals, Scotland.
Keep up to date with what’s happening inside the England camp by following us on our socials @EnglandNetball.