Netball NI set for third Commonwealth Games appearance

Netball Northern Ireland have qualified for a third consecutive Commonwealth Games.

By Ciaran Donaghy
Friday, 4th March 2022, 8:09 pm
Updated Friday, 4th March 2022, 8:55 pm

The Warriors’ participation in the multi-sport showpiece, which starts in Birmingham on July 28, was confirmed by World Netball (WN) and the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).

The top 12 teams in the world will compete and the Warriors were confirmed as the 11th-ranked side.

Australia, New Zealand, England, Jamaica, South Africa and Malawi - the top-six sides - were announced in October 2021 and now joined by Uganda, Scotland, Wales, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Netball NI.

Netball NI head coach Elaine Rice (left). Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Warriors head coach Elaine Rice, who led the side to an eighth-place finish at the Commonwealth Games four years ago in the Gold Coast, feels Birmingham will be a great opportunity for the players to test themselves against the best in the world.

“We are very excited and delighted to compete in our third Commonwealth Games, which is testament to our players’ hard work,” enthused Rice. “We look forward to being part of the larger Team NI and supporting all our team members in their endeavours.”

“Netball continues to build momentum with publicity, coverage and sponsorship so it is fantastic that our players will complete with the other top nations, this gives us a boost as we continue to train with the goal of moving up the rankings.” Alison Moffitt-Robinson Team NI Chef de Mission commented, “it is great to hear that Northern Ireland are 11th in the latest world rankings and as a result secure an invitation to compete in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.”

“Having finished in seventh place nd 8th place at the Glasgow and eighth place in the Gold Coast Games we will be hoping to cheer them on to another top eight finish in Birmingham.”

“The power teams of Netball come from within the Commonwealth so the Games will be truly world class.”

“Excitement is guaranteed as the teams vie for the precious medal positions and to have Northern Ireland in the mix will be fantastic.”

“In the first ever Commonwealth Games where the medal events for women, outnumber those for men, it is particularly apt for Netball to be our first team to qualify for an invitation to compete by way of ranking position.”

“I wish the squad, under the leadership of Elaine Rice, all the very best with their Games preparations and the exciting months ahead.”

The Warriors face a tough task in Birmingham after being drawn in Group B with host and defending Commonwealth champions England.

Current World Champions New Zealand are also in the group along with Malawi, Uganda plus Trinidad and Tobago.

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