The 2015 Netball World Cup kicks off on Friday as 16 nations head to Sydney for the globe’s number one netball tournament. Check out our very own guide to the World Cup before the action begins.
The first edition of the Netball World Cup took place way back in 1963 in Eastbourne, which saw Australia lift the title over New Zealand and the hosts England. 11 teams took to the court that year as the sport hit the international stage for the first time.
Since that year, 39 different nations have featured in 13 tournaments, with a whopping 27 countries taking part in a bumper 1995 competition. Australia dominate the World Cup hall of fame having secured a total of 10 titles and never finishing outside of the top two. Arch rivals New Zealand have 4 titles to their name, while Trinidad and Tobago picked up a joint win in 1979.
While England have never won a Netball World Cup, finishing 2nd once and 3rd four times, they remain the 4th all-time most successful nation.
The 2011 tournament, formally known as the World Netball Championships, saw Australia (pictured left) reign supreme to continue their global domination, thanks to a 100% record from the group stages through to the final. England took bronze after defeating Jamaica 70-49 in the 3rd place match.
16 teams from across the world will take part in the 14th tournament between 7 – 16 August. Australia automatically qualified as the host nation, with New Zealand, England, Jamaica, Malawi and South Africa joining them as the next five highest ranked teams.
Regional qualifying tournaments confirmed the other 10 nations, including Scotland and Wales completing the European representatives and Uganda who compete for the first time since 1979.
Australia, New Zealand, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, England, Jamaica, Malawi, South Africa, Scotland, Wales, Samoa, Fiji, Singapore, Uganda, Zambia, Sri Lanka.
Find out more about each nation taking part on the official 2015 Netball World Cup website.
192 of the world’s top netballers will be on show at this year’s tournament, including stars of both the ANZ Championships (Australia and New Zealand) and the Superleague (England and Wales).
Among the highlights include ANZ top scorer Romelda Aiken (Jamaica, pictured right), super Aussie defensive pair Julia Corletto and Laura Gietz and England’s shooting star Jo Harten.
Storm fans should look out for a few familiar names on court, including England vice-captain Pamela Cookey, Tamsin Greenway and Rachel Dunn and Bongiwe Msomi, who has been selected as vice-captain of the SPAR Proteas South African side.
Currently ranked number one in the world, Australia are hard to look past as favourites. Their World Cup and Commonwealth Games pedigree is second to none and they will almost certainly cruise their way into this year’s gold medal match.
New Zealand (pictured below) will fancy themselves for a shot at the title and we could see the ANZ rivals go head-to-head in the final on Sunday 16th August.
In true England sporting style though, the Roses are more than capable of an upset or two. Ranked 3rd in the world, bronze should be a minimum target for Coach Tracey Neville and her squad. But with the right results could we see our girls creep into the top two for the first time since 1975?
Sydney’s Allphones Arena (pictured left) and Netball Central will welcome all 64 matches of the 10 day tournament, with Australia beating off England (Manchester) to host the tournament.
Matches get underway on Friday morning as Fiji and Wales kick off the tournament at Netball Central. England’s opening match against Scotland will start at 5:50am GMT (2:50pm Aus), before reigning champions Australia round off day one against Trinidad & Tobago (12:05pm GMT, 9:05pm Aus).
Click here to view the full 2015 Netball World Cup schedule (all times are local).
Sky Sports will have full, live coverage of all of England’s matches and a selection of other fixtures every day throughout the tournament, starting with their meeting with Scotland on Friday morning which will also be streamed for FREE online (also available on Sky Sports 3 HD and Sky One) from 5.40am- better get that alarm set nice and early!
— Sky Sports (@SkySports) August 1, 2015
Sky Sports subscribers can catch the action live throughout the tournament, but if you don’t have a subscription then you don’t have to miss out! NOW TV offer day, week and month passes to watch online from just £6.99- click here for more info and to sign-up for instant access.