Netball World Cup 2019: Expert's verdict on Group B
Dan Ryan assesses New Zealand, Malawi, Barbados and Singapore; Watch every match of the Vitality Netball World Cup 2019 live on Sky Sports from July 12-21
By Chloe Merrell
Last Updated: 10/07/19 8:21am
New Zealand, Malawi, Barbados and Singapore battle it out for the three qualification places on offer in Group B, Dan Ryan gives us the lowdown on who to look out for.
The competition starts on Friday, July 12 and you can watch every match of the tournament live on Sky Sports.
This will be the 15th edition of netball's pinnacle tournament and it will be the third time England has played host after the inaugural competition in 1963 and Birmingham in 1995.
In total 16 teams will contest for the ultimate prize so scroll down to find out a little more about each team in Group B.
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- Best World Cup finish: Winners '03, '87, '79*, '67 (*joint winners with Australia and Trinidad & Tobago)
- INF Ranking: No 4
- Coach: Noeline Taurua
- Nickname: Silver Ferns
- Social Media: @SilverFernsNZ
The Silver Ferns have won four Netball World Cup tournaments in their time, the last in 2003, and have no less than eight runners-up placings to their name. After not reaching the heights they wanted to at the Commonwealth Games in 2018 - a fourth-place finish was their worst ever - Noeline Taurua was installed as the 11th Silver Ferns coach in August of that year.
The former GA knows what the World Cup stage is all about having played in the 1995 edition and is doing things her way. A pre-competition warm-up tournament will include a face-off with New Zealand's men's invitational side.
Squad: Karin Burger, Gina Crampton, Ameliaranne Ekenasio, Maria Folau, Phoenix Karaka, Casey Kopua, Laura Langman (Captain), Bailey Mes, Katrina Rore, Shannon Saunders, Te Paea Selby-Rickit, Jane Watson.
Expert verdict: With one of the most astute and accomplished coaches in the sport's history and three of the greatest players of all time leading the charge in Liverpool. Full of experience and pride, these Kiwis will be out to prove they are still a force to be reckoned with. If the Silver Ferns are going to fight for gold, they must do it their way; trademark New Zealand zone defence, flair, speed and creativity on attack and the unshakeable confidence and presence that can make the opposition crumble - Dan Ryan
- Best World Cup finish: 5th
- INF Ranking: No 9
- Coach: Griffin Saenda
- Nickname: The Queens
- Social Media: @Malawi_Queens
At the 2018 Commonwealth Games the Malawi Queens beat the Silver Ferns 57-53 and as fate would have it, the Silver Ferns are the side that they will face first up in Liverpool.
Back at the last edition of the Netball World Cup, the Queens finished in sixth so those around them in Group B will be well aware of their ability to orchestrate victories. Head coach Saenda has said that he will "look at players and possibly bring in newcomers" for the competition so keep watching this space.
Squad: Jane Chimaliro, Joana Kachilika, Alinafe Kamwala, Bridget Kumwenda, Takondwa Lwanzi, Caroline Mtukule, Joyce Mvula, Grace Mwafulirwa, Laureen Ngwira, Thandie Saenda, Sindi Simutowe, Towera Vinkhumbo.
Expert verdict: Always a team to watch in any competition, the Malawi Queens will no doubt be fan favourites again in Liverpool. With an unorthodox African style of play and their ability to simply keep possession of the ball, Malawi is always a difficult proposition for any team. No Mwai Kumwenda (knee) in the shooting circle but with Joyce Mvula as her replacement in the top line, they will be just as lethal. Expect them to cause an upset somewhere along the way and then provide us all with plenty of dancing and memorable celebrations to follow - Dan Ryan
- Best World Cup finish: Joint 6th
- INF Ranking: No 11
- Coach: Sandra Bruce-Small
- Nickname: The Bajan Gems
Barbados secured their place at this year's World Cup in the final of the Regional Qualifier - Americas. They were beaten just once there, by Trinidad and Tobago in the last match of the competition, to take the second of the two qualification spots. The national side have been a part of eight World Cup competitions before and their best finish came back in 1986 when they ended up in joint-sixth with the Cook Islands.
Squad: Shonette Azore-Bruce, Samantha Browne, Latonia Blackman (Vice-captain), Damisha Croney (Captain), Rieah Holder, Brianna Holder, Amanda Knight, Rhe-Ann Niles-Mapp, Tonisha Rock-Yaw, Shonte Seale, Sheniqua Thomas, Shonica Wharton.
Expert verdict: Always a strong and robust team, Barbados will bring the traditional Caribbean flavour to the World Cup. Expect them to showcase their unpredictable flair in attack and ferocity in defence. Not known to take a backwards step, this nation plays the game in an assertive way so opposition teams will need to be ready. Expect some flashes of brilliance along the way - Dan Ryan
- Best World Cup finish: 8th
- INF Ranking: No 26
- Coach: Natalie Milicich
- Social Media: @Netball_SG
Singapore's route to Liverpool saw them arrive through the Asian Regional Qualifier as they finished second behind Sri Lanka. This will be their 10th World Cup competition in total and they are led on court from their shooting circle by their centurion, and captain, Charmaine Soh. Most recently they finished the 2011 tournament in 15th. The team's head coach is New Zealander Natalie Milicich, who took over back in September 2017 and works with assistant coach Yeo Mee Hong.
Squad: Aqilah Andin, Carmen Goh, Charmaine Soh, Joanna Toh, Kimberly Lim, Kwok Shuyi, Lee Pei Shan, Melody Teo, Sindhu Nair, Siti Nurshawallah, Tan Xin Yi, Toh Kai Wei.
Expert verdict: Small in stature but big in heart and fight, Singapore are experienced World Cup campaigners. Likely to play a quick, short style of game in attack and a tenacious, hunting style of game in defence, the Asian nation will annoy plenty of teams in Liverpool, making them run hard and play hard all day long - Dan Ryan
Fan Park announced for NWC
The Vitality Netball World Cup 2019 organisers have announced that there will be an official Fan Park located in Chavasse Park
**All Rankings based on matches up to June 30 2019**
Watch every match of the Vitality Netball World Cup 2019 live on Sky Sports. Coverage starts on Friday, July 12 plus keep up to date with all of the latest competition news, results and enjoy in-depth features at skysports.com/netball.