Sky Sports netball experts Dan Ryan, Pamela Cookey and Tamsin Greenway reveal the players to keep an eye out for at the Netball World Cup.
Liverpool will host the 10-day tournament where 16 of the world’s best teams have qualified to compete for the sport’s ultimate prize.
Although a team game at heart, the World Cup will also become a stage for individuals to shine and we’ve turned to our panel of experts to bring you the names to look out for – and in keeping with a netball line-up we have seven names to shine…
- How to follow the Netball World Cup with Sky Sports
- Netball World Cup 2019: Team-by-team
DAN RYAN’S PICKS
Sarah Klau (Australia) [GK / GD]
As the only uncapped Diamond, Sarah Klau might be untested in international competition, but she’s more than capable of causing some serious chaos in Liverpool. The bolter into the final 12, Klau’s form for the ladder-leading NSW Swifts in Suncorp Super Netball has been undeniable. This athletic machine has nullified some of the best shooters in the world with her ability combat all types of shooters. Likely to sit behind Courtney Bruce in the pecking order initially, expect this superstar in the making to do some damage if opportunity knocks.
Jodi-Ann Ward (Jamaica) [WD / GD / GK]
When you think of the Sunshine Girls you think of the brilliant bookends of Jhaniele Fowler and Shamera Sterling, but keep an eye out for a fiery speed demon, called Jodie-Ann Ward. With a season in the Vitality Netball Superleague under her belt, Ward plays a vital role in the defensive mid-court or circle, responsible for supporting and protecting Sterling at the back. The dynamic and tenacious WD and GD is one of the best ball winners in the business. Capable of turning a game with her freaky interceptions, Ward could prove to be a hero in her own right for the Sunshine Girls in Liverpool.
- Tamsin Greenway’s World Cup contenders – who can win it and why
PAMELA COOKEY’S PICKS
Karla Pretorius (South Africa) [GD]
Arguably the world’s best goal defence. This South African has quick hands, great footwork to create tips and intercepts and is strong in close quarters in their future. Pretorius more often than not is in the right place at the right time. Karla is has a tough man-on-man defensive pressure but is also lethal on the off mark – you just don’t see her coming!
Laura Langman (New Zealand) [C / WD]
This tenacious centre/wing defence is still a force to reckon with holding the record for most capped Silver Fern ever at over 150 caps! She is an engine in for the Silver Ferns who never stops giving. On attack she drives the team forward always providing options and that killer feed into the circle. On defence she loves to pick up a back and up intercept and works in synergy with her defensive unit to restrict access. A strong leader on the court who others draw encouragement from.
Rachel Dunn (England) [GS / GA]
Though most likely Jo Harten and Helen Housby have the starting GA and GS bibs for the Roses, Rachel Dunn will be key in providing options over this World Cup with her experience of 86 caps and two previous World Cups under her belt.
With eight games over 10 days the experience and consistency of a player like Dunn could prove vital both on and off the court to put the team in the best possible position come the final stages of the competition. Dunn seems to have been reborn and has forced her way back into the England set-up with her Quad Series and VNSL performances. She is a consistent shooter and safe pair of hands.
TAMSIN GREENWAY’S PICKS
Gretel Tippett (Australia) [GA]
I just think that she is so different to any other GAs. I think that is why Australia struggled with her for a bit because they have always had the front-cut and drive GA – Sharelle (McMahon), Nat Medhurst and you’ve got Steph Wood coming through. For as long as I can remember they have always been very short and sharp, drive hard and cut to the post and Tippett is just so different.
I really think that she’s developed her game and I love that about her. She hasn’t had it all her own way at all. She’s gone away and worked on some things, almost ignored the haters and gone, ‘This is how I play, like it or lump it,’ and she’s found a way to work in that team.
Having watched Aussie squads for years it’s so nice to have somebody that’s a bit different in there and I think that’s why Australia are dangerous, because of Tippett. You know everything that you’ll get with everybody else, you know that you’ll get the hustle at the back, the front-cut and drive from C and WA and with Tippett you don’t know what you’re going to get. For GAs around the world that’s magic to watch and to see how she goes in this tournament.
Shamera Sterling (Jamaica) [GD / GK]
I’m so looking forward to seeing her play and just to see how she plays in that Jamaican unit too and whether she can make a difference in there. I think that if she’s special this World Cup then Jamaica will be special.