INF world ranking: 4
World Cups played: 14
Highest World Cup finish: 1
New Zealand are familiar faces at the Netball World Cup, having appeared at all 14 tournaments to date. Known as the Silver Ferns, the team are ranked fourth in the world and have never finished the tournament in a position lower than third. In 1967 the side claimed their first World Cup win and have won a further three times since – 1979 (joint with Australia and Trinidad and Tobago), 1987 and 2003. New Zealand have hosted the World Cup tournament three times – twice in Auckland (1975 and 2007) and once in Christchurch for the 1999 edition. The Silver Ferns qualified automatically for this year’s World Cup thanks to their INF world ranking.
Ones to watch
A formidable shooter Maria Folau made her debut for the Silver Ferns aged 18 and has been a pivotal part of the team since. Famous for her impressive ‘long bomb’ shots from the circle edge, Folau has extensive experience playing on the international circuit. She has represented New Zealand at four Commonwealth Games (2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018) and three World Cups (2007, 2011, 2015). In Sydney at the 2015 World Cup, the shooter reached a significant milestone in her netball career, becoming the fourth Silver Fern to achieve 100 test caps. Who will be able to rival this experienced and cool-headed shooter in Liverpool?
One of the most influential and respected midcourters in world netball, Laura Langman made her debut for the Silver Ferns in 2005 against England. Her energy and ability to play both attack and defence make her a versatile player on the court. Langman has represented the Silver Ferns at three Commonwealth Games (2006, 2010 and 2014) and three World Cups (2007, 2011 and 2015) so knows how to do battle with the world’s best teams. She will captain the squad when New Zealand begin their campaign for world domination in Liverpool.
As a child, Jane Watson was only interested in one thing – football! It wasn’t until her family made the move to a new town in New Zealand, where she joined a netball team to make friends that her passion for the spot grew. Watson now plays goalkeeper for the Silver Ferns and having only debut for the side in 2016, has been quick to make an impression. Her long reach, speed and vertical leap make her an effective and dangerous defender and brilliant combination for battle on the world stage.