The England Netball 12-strong squad that will be competing in the Vitality Netball World Cup in Liverpool from 12-21 July has been announced today with 8 Commonwealth champions included.
The Vitality Roses will be captained by Serena Guthrie, who made her debut against Malawi in 2008 and currently has 90 caps to her name.
Guthrie will represent her country alongside vice-captain Jade Clarke, Eboni Usoro-Brown, Joanne Harten, Helen Housby, Geva Mentor, Natalie Haythornthwaite and Chelsea Pitman who were all a part of Team England’s gold medal winning moment at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Guthrie said: “Being selected and asked to be captain is a proud moment for me. It’s going to be a real honour for us all to step out in front of the nation. After our triumph at the Commonwealth Games last year the pressure is on to try and secure gold on a global stage again. The competition is tighter than ever but it is a huge comfort to be playing on home soil and to have the nation behind us. I can’t wait!”
Layla Guscoth has also been named in the exciting line up, alongside Rachel Dunn, who has 86 caps under her belt, has competed in two Netball World Cups and helped the Roses secure victory against Australia in the January Netball Quad Series.
In addition, rising stars Francesca Williams and Natalie Panagarry will be competing in their first ever Netball World Cups.
Williams said: “I’m delighted to have been selected to compete in my first World Cup, it’s something I’ve always dreamt about and it still doesn’t feel quite real. I am really proud to be representing my country amongst the amazing athletes that make up the squad!”
Head Coach Tracey Neville, who has led the Vitality Roses to second in the International Netball Federation’s World Rankings; their highest position to date, said: “There were some really tough decisions to make in selection. The World Cup is a challenging competition due to its format and the potential opposition we could come up against. All of the players selected are at their physical peak and have shown through the international and Vitality Netball Superleague season that they are able to consistently perform well under extreme pressure, which is crucial leading into July.
“It is fantastic to see the versatility we have amongst the final 12, plus the emergence of two outstanding leaders in Serena Guthrie as captain and Jade Clarke as vice-captain. Not only are they world class players but together they have set the standard within our Roses programme both on and off the court.
“Our final 12 have shown that they’re ready to perform and want to win. I’m excited to see these players compete in a home World Cup!”
This is the third time in history that the Netball World Cup will be held in England, the first being in 1963 in Eastbourne and the second in Birmingham in 1995.
The final 12 selected for the Vitality Netball World Cup is as follows:
Helen Housby (GA, GS)
Joanne Harten (GS, GA)
Natalie Haythornthwaite (WA, GA)
Rachel Dunn (GA, GS)
Serena Guthrie (C, WD)
Jade Clarke (C, WD)
Chelsea Pitman (WA)
Natalie Panagarry (C, WD)
Layla Guscoth (GD, WD)
Eboni Usoro-Brown (GK, GD)
Geva Mentor (GK)
Francesca Williams (GD, WD)