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England head coach Jess Thirlby excited by goal shooter Olivia Tchine's Netball World Cup chance

London Pulse goal shooter Olivia Tchine is one of five players in Jess Thirlby's squad who will be going to the Netball World Cup for the first time; the 22-year-old adds to the shooter options the England boss has available; this year's World Cup is in South Africa, starting on July 28

England Netball
Image: Olivia Tchine is heading to the World Cup for the first time after being included in England's squad

Jess Thirlby is excited by what Olivia Tchine can bring to the England team at the World Cup after the 22-year-old was named in the squad for this year’s tournament.

The London Pulse goal shooter is one of five players in head coach Thirlby's squad who will be heading to netball's global gathering for the first time, having made her senior international debut against Uganda last October.

A European U17 champion with England six years ago, Tchine adds depth to Thirlby's shooter options and the national team boss is savouring a player who has come through the system earn the opportunity to shine on the world stage.

"How exciting is that, to see one of youngsters and one of our newest talents break through on the international scene?" Thirlby told Sky Sports.

"To be going to a first World Cup is massive and I'm excited speaking now. I've got shivers on her behalf because it's a great reward for what she's done in recent years.

"She's been on our futures programme, so it may appear new to a few people but not to me, and I think she's really grown with confidence."

While Tchine is the one specialist goal shooter in the squad, fellow World Cup debutant Eleanor Cardwell and 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Helen Housby offer options for Thirlby in the position too.

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England head coach Jess Thirlby claims that the Roses are spoilt for choice with the shooters she has selected for this summer's World Cup and suggests that the squad can beat anyone.

The duo have been impressing for Adelaide Thunderbirds and New South Wales Swifts respectively in Australia's Suncorp Super Netball competition, while Manchester Thunder's Natalie Metcalf can slot in at goal attack if needed too.

"I think I've been pretty spoilt for choice in terms of the calibre of our shooters, not just as close to the World Cup as we are but over the last few years," Thirlby said.

"Ellie Cardwell and Helen Housby both offer goal shooter and goal attack and give us a real diverse option in the shooting circle if I push Helen back.

"We've also got Nat Metcalf, who people will remember in previous tournaments also featured at goal attack and has continued to do that for her club Thunder both last season and this season. Nat will provide us with different options on goal attack if and when needed, but I'm just super-pleased.

England's Helen Housby (left) and Jamaica's Malysha Kelly in action during the Vitality Netball International Series match at the AO Arena, Manchester. Picture date: Wednesday January 11, 2023.
Image: Helen Housby provides another shooter option for England

"We've got one specialist in Liv and then some great versatility, and Helen and El in particular finding brilliant form over in Suncorp, so hopefully that continues and we harness that before our major tournament."

England head to South Africa for this year's World Cup, which starts on July 28, aiming to break the hold reigning champions New Zealand and 11-time winners Australia have on it, with the antipodean rivals contesting every final since 1999.

The Roses have finished third in the past three editions and Thirlby is confident they have the team to take the big step to lift the trophy for the first time in 2023.

"This team at their best, I have so much trust, belief and confidence in their ability," Thirlby said. "My job now is to get them to be at their best and I think they're more than capable."

England's Pool B World Cup fixtures

Date Opponent UK time
Fri, July 28 Barbados 7pm
Sat, July 29 Malawi 5pm
Sun, July 30 Scotland 3pm

Vitality Roses World Cup squad

Imogen Allison (Wing Defence, Centre)

Eleanor Cardwell (Goal Shooter, Goal Attack)

Jade Clarke (Centre, Wing Defence)

Funmi Fadoju (Goal Defence, Goal Keeper, Wing Defence)

Layla Guscoth (Goal Defence, Wing Defence, Goal Keeper)

Helen Housby (Goal Attack, Goal Shooter)

Laura Malcolm (Centre, Wing Defence, Wing Attack)

Geva Mentor (Goal Keeper)

Natalie Metcalf (Wing Attack, Goal Attack)

Chelsea Pitman (Wing Attack)

Olivia Tchine (Goal Shooter)

Fran Williams (Goal Defence, Goal Keeper)

Travelling Reserves:

Halimat Adio (Goal Keeper, Goal Defence)

Amy Carter (Centre, Wing Defence)

Sophie Drakeford-Lewis (Goal Attack, Wing Attack)

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