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Vitality Netball Superleague Watch: Northern Ireland v Sri Lanka

All ten Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) sides are being represented at the Vitality Netball World Cup in Liverpool this July. When Northern Ireland face Sri Lanka at the M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool, Saturday 13 July, three players who were involved in the 2019 VNSL season will hope to star.

The Lowdown

Former Manchester Thunder coach Dan Ryan is currently in charge of Northern Ireland, who are ranked eighth in the International Netball Federation’s World Rankings.

Northern Ireland will make their twelfth appearance at netball’s pinnacle event when they land in Liverpool this July. The side qualified for Liverpool alongside Scotland at the Regional Qualifier–Europe event in January 2018. They’ll be hoping to better their highest World Cup finishing position to date – seventh at the 1983 World Cup in Singapore.

Sri Lanka, who are currently ranked 18th, first participated at the Netball World Cup in 1963 under the country’s former name of Ceylon. During this tournament, they also claimed their highest finishing position of ninth. They emerged undefeated from the Regional Qualifier – Asia event last year to seal their place in Liverpool, marking their 10th appearance at a World Cup.

VNSL Players involved

  • Caroline O’Hanlon (Northern Ireland & Manchester Thunder)

Captaining Northern Ireland at the Vitality Netball World Cup will be Caroline O’Hanlon, who had an impressive season as part of Manchester Thunder’s title-winning side. This will be the 34 year old’s third World Cup, after previously competing in Kingston (2003) and Singapore (2011).

  • Fionnuala Toner (Northern Ireland & London Pulse)

London Pulse’s Fionnuala Toner will serve as vice-captain. Liverpool will be her second World Cup, after being named in her country’s team for the 2011 edition. She’s heading into the competition off the back of a great season which saw her complete the most interceptions for her side across the regular season.

  • Michelle Drayne (Northern Ireland & Saracens Mavericks)

Saracens Mavericks’ Michelle Drayne is the third Vitality Netball Superleague representative in Ryan’s squad. With 58 caps and two Commonwealth Games for her nation, the centre/wing attack will add plenty of experience to the side.

Head-to-Head

Northern Ireland and Sri Lanka have gone head-to-head on five occasions at previous World Cups with the former winning four of those encounters.

Make sure you’re following the Vitality Netball Superleague on Twitter for the latest news and updates!

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