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BATH, ENGLAND - JANUARY 28: Sigi Burger of SUrrey Storm smiles after being named player of the match during the Vitality Netball Superleague match between Team Bath and Surrey Storm at the University of Bath on January 28, 2019 in Bath, England. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images for England Netball)

All ten Vitality Netball Superleague sides are being represented at the Vitality Netball World Cup in Liverpool this July. Jamaica Sunshine Girls and South Africa will bring six British-based players to court at the M&S Bank Arena on Sunday 14 July.

The Lowdown

The penultimate preliminaries stage one tie brings two heavyweights together in the form of the Jamaica Sunshine Girls and South Africa, ranked second and fifth in the world respectively. Expect sparks when these two are pitted against one another as a plethora of world-class talent takes centre stage.

The Sunshine Girls are as bright as their name suggests. The Jamaican team are a formidable outfit and will prove a challenging test for any of their World Cup opposition.

Ranked second in the INF World Rankings, they have appeared at every World Cup since its inception in 1963 and have won bronze three times. As one of the top five teams in the world, they automatically qualified for the competition.

The SPAR Proteas qualified for this competition automatically thanks to their place within the top five netball nations, according to the INF World Rankings, and will do so again when they host in four years time.

They made an impact last time they participated in a World Cup on British soil, finishing second after 25 years of isolation following apartheid, and will be hoping to make a similarly seismic statement this time around.

VNSL Players Involved

  • Bongiwe Msomi (South Africa & Wasps Netball)

Bongiwe Msomi enjoyed a fruitful Vitality Netball Superleague season as she helped Wasps reach a third consecutive Grand Final. The 31-year-old has represented the SPAR Proteas at two previous World Cups (2011 and 2015) as a dynamic wing attack and will captain her country this summer.

  • Shadine Van Der Merwe (South Africa & Surrey Storm)

Shadine Van Der Merwe will make her World Cup debut in Liverpool. The 25-year-old ended the Superleague season with Surrey Storm but joined Adelaide Thunderbirds as a permanent replacement player for an injured Beth Cobden soon after.

Van Der Merwe has worked hard to earn a place in Norma Plummer’s squad and her immense contribution to Storm’s Fast5 qualification, as well as winning Surrey Storm’s Best and Fairest Award in her first season with the club, certainly helped her cause.

  • Maryka Holtzhausen (South Africa & Severn Stars)

Maryka Holtzhausen became the first South African to play in the Superleague when she joined Loughborough Lightning in 2015. The goal attack has since moved to Severn Stars and has now amassed more than a century of caps for her country, appearing at two World Cups thus far.

  • Sigi Burger (South Africa & Surrey Storm)

A late addition to the South African squad due to a training injury to Ine-Marí Venter, Sigi Burger will be looking to capitalise on this chance. The goal shooter had a tremendous season for Surrey Storm with an impressive shooting percentage of 94% and the league’s highest average number of goals per match. Burger has 13 caps for her country and this will be her first World Cup.

  • Stacian Facey (Jamaica Sunshine Girls & Celtic Dragons)

Celtic Dragons goal keeper Stacian Facey, 25, has been selected to appear at the 2019 World Cup by Marvette Anderson after a hugely successful period in her career, winning silver at Fast5 and bronze in the Commonwealth Games last year. Facey finished in the top ten for Vitality Netball Superleague interceptions last season with 27, justifying her World Cup inclusion.

  • Jodi-Ann Ward (Jamaica Sunshine Girls & Severn Stars)

Making her World Cup debut in Liverpool, Jodi-Ann Ward has enjoyed a stellar season for Severn Stars. Ward, who can play as wing defence and goal defence, was instrumental for Stars as they qualified for the British Fast5 Netball All-Stars Championship. The 24-year-old was also among the top ten for Superleague interceptions last term with an impressive 29.


The Sunshine Girls and SPAR Proteas are the best of foes, meeting eight times since 2013. Jamaica usually get the upper hand and convincingly won all of those encounters. They did, however, require extra-time in the Fast5 World Series in 2016. The most recent meeting ended in a 47-27 win for the Jamaicans.

When these two nations came together in the Superleague, however, the tables turned. The South African quartet found success against their Jamaican counterparts at club level. In fact, when Ward and Facey came up against South African opposition, they lost 70 per cent of the time.

Holtzhausen shone in many of these fixtures with her slick passing and flawless game management. Msomi was also a prominent figure in these fixtures, constantly breaking up play and capitalising on mid-court errors in these fixtures.

Facey and Ward each got the better of Van Der Merwe and Burger’s Storm, though, with Ward looking particularly impressive in her encounters with the Surrey outfit.

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

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