The Vitality Roses ignite their Vitality Netball World Cup campaign against Uganda. The hosts will face stiff competition from an exciting She Cranes side as they embark on their third World Cup on home soil.
Uganda have improved exponentially in recent times, rising from 17th in the INF world rankings to seventh in just under four years and are currently sixth. The current side, led by coach Vincent Kiwanuka, are littered with world-class talent and have proven capable against some of the best teams on the planet during their inaugural Commonwealth Games 14-months ago.
The She Cranes made their World Cup debut in 1979, finishing joint-13th with St Lucia, and recently enjoyed their highest-ever finish of eighth in 2015. They recently experienced playing in Liverpool last November and will return to the host city as World Cup participants having beaten Zambia 64-56 on the penultimate day of their regional qualifiers.
Ones to Watch
Peace Proscovia (GS) –
A name familiar to many, Peace Proscovia has a wealth of experience and an abundance of talent within the shooting circle. The 29-year-old’s shooting skills have catapulted herself and the She Cranes to the world stage of late, earning herself a move to Sunshine Coast Lightning having won Vitality Netball Superleague Players’ Player of the Season Award for 2018 for her performances with Loughborough Lightning.
Lilian Ajio (GD) –
At 35, Lilian Ajio’s experience and vast understanding of her position makes her a real asset for Uganda. The goal defence has outstanding positional awareness and the ability to regularly make interceptions for her team. This is Ajio’s second taste of the World Cup having been a part of the 2015 World Cup in Sydney.
Mary Cholhok (GS) –
Mary Cholhok (right) became the second Ugandan to turn out for Loughborough Lightning following international teammate Peace Proscovia’s departure. The youngster immediately showcased her shooting prowess, winning the Gilbert Golden Shot Award.
A handful of names will be familiar for Vitality Roses and Vitality Netball Superleague fans alike. Tracey Neville’s side will have already faced off with the majority of the squad following the recent three-match series, while Nat Panagarry has played alongside both Mary Cholhok and Peace Proscovia at Loughborough Lightning.
The She Cranes toured England last November and provided competitive tests for the Vitality Roses despite not winning a game.
Vincent Kiwanuka’s team ran their opposition close at times but lost 65-53 and 66-37 following an initial 50-46 defeat at 2019 World Cup venue M&S Bank Arena.
In fact, Uganda faced up with England on four occasions during 2018 after a Commonwealth Games clash in Australia. The Ugandans showed significant endeavour but ultimately missed out by six goals.
Uganda Squad in Full
Jesca Achan, Lilian Ajio, Mary Cholhok, Betty Kizza, Muhaimuna Naamuwaya, Joan Nampugu, Stella Nanfuka, Racheal Nanyonga, Sylivia Nanyonga, Stella Oyella, Peace Proscovia, Meeme Ruth.
By Conor de Smith