Netball World Cup contenders at a glance

A closer look at the main contenders for the Netball World Cup which begins in Liverpool on Friday.

Australia coach LISA ALEXANDER gives her players instructions during the Netball World Cup Gold Medal match between Australia and New Zealand at Allphones Arena in Sydney, Australia.
Australia coach LISA ALEXANDER gives her players instructions during the Netball World Cup Gold Medal match between Australia and New Zealand at Allphones Arena in Sydney, Australia. Picture: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

A LOOK AT THE MAIN CONTENDERS FOR THE NETBALL WORLD CUP THAT GETS UNDERWAY IN LIVERPOOL ON FRIDAY.

AUSTRALIA

* Ranking: 1

* Nickname: The Diamonds

* World Cup wins: 11 1963, 1971, 1975, 1979, 1983, 1991, 1995, 1999, 2007, 2011, 2015.

*World Cup final appearances: 14

* Coach: Lisa Alexander

* The dominant team in the world game are the team to beat in Liverpool as they look for an astonishing 12th world title in 55 years. Although the squad contains nine World Cup rookies, they boast some of the sport's outstanding players in mid-courter Liz Watson and goal shooters Caitlin Bassett and Gretel Tippet.

* Group A matches:

* Fri July 12 - Northern Ireland

* Sat July 13 - Zimbabwe

* Sun July 14 - Sri Lanka

JAMAICA

* Ranking: 2

* Nickname: The Sunshine Girls

* World Cup wins: 0

* World Cup final appearances: 0

* Best World Cup finish: 3rd, 1991, 2003, 2007

* Coaches: Marvette Anderson and Sasher Gaye-Henry.

* Denied a spot in the Commonwealth Games final by just one goal against England, the Sunshine Girls have gone from being an emerging force to a genuine title contender. A talented squad has benefited hugely from players being exposed to Super Netball in Australia. None more so than Adelaide Thunderbirds intercept queen Shamera Sterling.

* Group C matches:

* Fri July 12 - Fiji

* Sat July 13 - Trinidad and Tobago

* Sun July 14 - South Africa

* ENGLAND

* Ranking: 3

* Nickname: The Roses

* World Cup wins: 0

* World Cup final appearances: 1

* Best World Cup finish: Runner-up 1975

* Coach: Tracey Neville.

* Produced their greatest ever moment at the Commonwealth Games last year by stunning red-hot favourites Australia with a dramatic last-second goal that sealed gold medal on the Gold Coast. However, being the host nation adds extra pressure to a side not used to being bracketed as a tournament favourite.

* Group D matches:

* Fri July 12 - Uganda

* Sat July 13 -Scotland

* Sun July 14 - Samoa

NEW ZEALAND

* Ranking: 4

* Nickname: The Silver Ferns

* World Cup wins: 4 - 1967, 1979, 1987, 2003

* World Cup final appearances: 12

* Coach: Noeline Taurua.

* New Zealand have gone for experience over new blood despite a disappointing Commonwealth Games campaign that saw them well beaten by five goals by Jamaica in the bronze medal match. Skipper Laura Langman is still a class act at 33 and Maria Folau will be hoping the woes of husband Israel are behind her and show she is still a threat in front of goal.

* Group B matches:

* Fri July 12 - Malawi

* Sat July 13 -Barbados

* Sun July 14 - Singapore

SOUTH AFRICA

* Ranking: 5

* Nickname: The Proteas

* World Cup wins: 0

* World Cup final appearances: 1

* Best World Cup finish: runner-up -1995

* Coach: Norma Plummer

* Under the guidance of former Diamonds coach Plummer, the Proteas announced themselves as a team to watch in Liverpool by beating England in January's quad series in London. A deeply unlucky draw will see them needing to beat Jamaica or potentially England to book a semi-final spot. However, in Sunshine Coast Lightning defender Karla Pretorius, South Africa boast one of the world's best players.

* Group C matches:

* Fri July 12 - Trinidad and Tobago

* Sat July 13 - Fiji

* Sun July 14 - Jamaica


AAP