INF world ranking: 15
World Cups played: 7
Highest World Cup finish: 6
Samoa became an affiliated member of the International Netball Federation in 1986 and made their World Cup debut in Sydney in 1991. Fifteenth in the world, Samoa have appeared at seven World Cups to date and in 2003 they finished in sixth position, their highest ever finish.
Samoa defeated all four of their regional rivals Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Fiji and the Cook Islands in their regional qualifier event to confirm their place at this year’s World Cup.
Ones to watch
Netball has been a part of Auteletoa Tanimo’s life since she first began playing aged nine. A relative of former Silver Ferns player, Linda Vagana, Tanimo’s interest in the game was sparked by watching Vagana on the court. If selected to play in Liverpool, it will be the second time Tanimo has represented her country at a World Cup – she made her debut at the 2015 event in Sydney. When she isn’t playing or training, the goal shooter works as a teacher in a secondary school teaching health and physical education. A fun fact about the player is that her uncle is Dwane ‘The Rock’ Johnson.
Gerardine Solia-Gibb, or Gene to those who know her, comes from a dynasty of netball players. The youngest of five sisters, Gene’s siblings, have all represented Samoa playing netball, and her husband also played for Samoa’s rugby 15’s and rugby 7’s. Gene has already experienced the ferocity of the international stage, in 2007 she played in goal defence at the World Cup in Auckland New Zealand. “I think all of the teams we face will be tough,” she says, “but we will be aiming high no matter what. We are a team of experience and youth and we can’t wait to show the world what we have been doing.”