INF world ranking: 6
World Cups played: 5
Highest World Cup finish: 5
Malawi automatically qualified for Liverpool as one of the top five ranked teams in the world. Currently sixth in the INF world rankings, they moved up a qualifying sport following England’s automatic qualification as the host nation. At the 2018 Commonwealth Games, the Malawi Queens produced a shock victory over world number four New Zealand. Liverpool will be the Queens’ sixth appearance at a World Cup, can they climb any higher than their highest World Cup position of fifth, which they achieved in 1995?
Ones to watch
Spotted for her height by a Malawi Queens coach, Mwai Kumwenda’s six-foot frame has been her weapon on the court. Aged just 15 she made the 10-hour move from her small hometown village of Mzimba to Blantyre – Malawi’s second largest city – to train alongside the Queens. Kumwenda first represented the side playing goal shooter and wing attack at the Youth World Cup in 2009. In 2011 she made the move to Melbourne to play in the Victoria Netball League, a move that has seen her career go from strength to strength. The international stage is familiar territory for the player who has represented Malawi at both the 2011 and 2015 World Cups.
Joyce Mvula has been described by Manchester Thunder’s Karen Greig as “an exciting shooter who has the physical capabilities to play both goal attack and goal shooter positions, posing a great threat to any defence she faces.” The 24-year-old stands at five-foot-nine-inches, her slightly shorter height giving her the agility she needs to dart around the goal third. Mvula has played at both the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and 2015 World Cup in Sydney, so knows a thing or two about playing against the best teams in the world.