Jump to main content
Vitality Netball Superleague Watch: Northern Ireland v Zimbabwe

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.

The Lowdown

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.

Zimbabwe will make their World Cup debut when they play Sri Lanka in their opening match on Friday 12th July – they’re the only team in the tournament to be making their first World Cup appearance.

Thirteenth in the world, the Zimbabwe Gems qualified for the World Cup in style, winning all of their matches bar one (against Uganda) at the Regional Qualifier – Africa in August 2018. They’ll be one of four African nations competing at the World Cup, the other teams being South Africa, Malawi and Uganda, meaning Africa has more teams competing in Liverpool than any other INF region.

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.

  • Adelaide (Adz) Muskwe (Zimbabwe & Severn Stars)

Adelaide Muskwe, who plays at either goal defence or wing defence, joined Severn Stars for her first season in the Vitality Netball Superleague in 2019. With speed and power in abundance, Muskwe is a hot prospect for the future.


With Zimbabwe making their World Cup debut in 2019, this will be the first time that the Gems and  Northern Ireland have gone head-to-head in the sport’s pinnacle event.

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



Previous Story Vitality Netball Superleague Watch: Uganda She Cranes vs Scottish Thistles
Next Story Vitality Netball Superleague Watch: Jamaica Sunshine Girls vs South Africa

More News

Lenize Potgieter
12th Aug 2022

The First Interview: Lenize Potgieter talks Thunder, pressure, and weather

Reading: 5 mins
Potgieter of Manchester Thunder.
12th Aug 2022

Manchester Thunder sign South Africa star Lenize Potgieter

Reading: 3 mins
Taylor McKevitt of Manchester Thunder during this Signing Window.
12th Aug 2022

2023 Signing Window explained: How do VNSL transfers work?

Reading: 4 mins
Catherine Tuivaiti of Severn Stars.
8th Aug 2022

The five biggest transfers from the 2022 Signing Window

Reading: 5 mins
Vitality Netball Superleague Watch: Northern Ireland v Zimbabwe
7th Aug 2022

Commonwealth Games: Legacy Netball

Reading: 4 mins

Google Ad – MPU – Right Column