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BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JANUARY 05: Activity during the Vitality Netball Superleague Super 10 at Arena Birmingham on January 5, 2019 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images for England Netball)

All ten Vitality Netball Superleague sides are being represented at the Vitality Netball World Cup in Liverpool this summer. Uganda She Cranes and Scottish Thistles meet on Sunday 14 July when the crowd will be treated to 12 of the Superleague’s finest talents.

The Lowdown

Uganda She Cranes have improved exponentially in recent times, rising from 17th in the INF World Rankings to seventh in just under four years. The She Cranes made their World Cup debut in 1979, finishing joint-13th with St Lucia, and recently enjoyed their highest-ever finish of eighth in 2015. They are one of four African teams to play at this year’s World Cup.

Scotland have also consistently appeared on netball’s biggest stage, qualifying for 13 editions of the World Cup since the tournament’s inception in 1963. They are one of just seven nations to have hosted the competition, in 1987, but their greatest result remains their trio of third-place finishes in 1971, 1975 and 1983 respectively.

VNSL Players Involved

  • Mary Cholhok (Uganda She Cranes & Loughborough Lightning)

Mary Cholhok became the second Ugandan to turn out for Loughborough Lightning after international teammate Peace Proscovua when she signed for the Midlands outfit last year. The 6’7 goal shooter has since made an impression on court thanks to her evident shooting prowess, winning the Gilbert Golden Shot Award.

  • Emma Barrie (Scottish Thistles & Strathclyde Sirens)

Young gun Emma Barrie is set to earn her first senior international cap at the Vitality Netball World Cup at just 17. Her call-up comes after a breakthrough Vitality Netball Superleague season, which saw her nominated for the Sky Sports Fans’ Player of the Year Award.

  • Kelly Boyle (Scottish Thistles & Strathclyde Sirens)

Wing attack and centre Kelly Boyle will make her World Cup debut in Liverpool this summer after some promising performances for Strathclyde Sirens. The 21-year-old will be looking to make her mark in an impressive Scotland squad.

  • Lynsey Gallagher (Scottish Thistles & Strathclyde Sirens)

Another of the 11 Strathclyde Sirens representing Scottish Thistles on the world stage, Lynsey Gallagher is a talented and experienced attacker. At 27, Gallagher has collected 81 caps for her country and has previously represented the Thistles at the World Cup in 2015.

  • Ella Gibbons (Scottish Thistles & Strathclyde Sirens)

This will be Ella Gibbons’ first experience of a World Cup. At 6’3, the 24-year-old stands as goal defence and goal keeper for Strathclyde Sirens during the Vitality Netball Superleague season.

  • Bethan Goodwin (Scottish Thistles & Strathclyde Sirens)

Bethan Goodwin has just finished her third season in the Superleague and the youngster has already enjoyed an impressive start to her promising club career. As a result, Goodwin is beginning to transfer her Sirens performances onto the international stage. The goal shooter will be 20 by the time the World Cup begins but she has already amassed 19 caps for her country.

  • Sarah MacPhail (Scottish Thistles & Strathclyde Sirens)

Sarah MacPhail is a relative newcomer to the international scene with three caps to her name. MacPhail was scouted by Netball Scotland’s National Technical Team whilst competing as part of the Scottish Student Netball squad. Heralding from the Orkney Islands in the Northern Isles of Scotland, MacPhail moved to Glasgow to continue her netballing journey at university. The versatile 21-year-old can play at goal defence, wing defence and centre.

  • Claire Maxwell (Scottish Thistles & Strathclyde Sirens)

Playmaker Claire Maxwell will captain the Thistles in Liverpool and will also secure a coveted century of caps during the opening stages of the competition. The pacey centre and wing defence started playing at primary school and has gone onto captain her country as well as Strathclyde Sirens.

  • Niamh McCall (Scottish Thistles & Strathclyde Sirens)

Another of Scottish Thistles’ young squad, teenager Niamh McCall has come into the Sirens side and has made her mark at goal attack. The 19-year-old got into netball at primary school just a decade ago and will now be competing at the highest level of the sport.

  • Nicola McCleery (Scottish Thistles & Strathclyde Sirens)

Centre and wing attack Nicola McCleery is another set to make her World Cup debut in Liverpool. At 23, she has developed into a core player for the Scots thanks to her energy and work ethic.

Nicola McCleery Scotland Thistles and Sirens.

  • Hayley Mulheron (Scottish Thistles & Strathclyde Sirens)

Goal keeper and Scottish Thistles centurion, Hayley Mulheron has been a key figure for her country for several years. A talented sportswoman, Mulheron has surpassed 100 caps for her country and is instrumental for Sirens during the Superleague season. The 33-year-old played at the 2007 and 2015 editions of the World Cup.

  • Emily Nicholl (Scottish Thistles & Strathclyde Sirens)

Emily Nicholl’s sister originally inspired her to take up netball and the goal defence will be glad that she did. Nicholl has represented Scotland on 15 occasions and regularly takes to the court for Sirens during the league season.

Head-to-Head

When Uganda She Cranes competed in their inaugural Commonwealth Games last year, they took on Scottish Thistles for the first time in recent history. Vincent Kiwanuka’s team ran out 57-37 winners.

In the Superleague, Mary Cholhok’s Loughborough Lightning twice faced Scottish Thistles and twice came out on top. Cholhok produced a Player of the Match performance in the 60-49 victory in February and, in the 59-44 win later in the season, the Ugandan flourished again.

Make sure you’re following @NetballSL on Twitter for all the latest news and updates!

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