South Africa have confirmed their final 12 to face the world’s best teams when battle commences in July. Representing the Proteas on the international stage will be:
Find out more about South Africa’s World Cup history and some of their players to watch when they take to the court in July.
INF world ranking: 5
World Cups played: 8
Highest World Cup finish: 2
South Africa have featured at eight World Cups to date and automatically qualified for this year’s Vitality Netball World Cup as one of the top five ranked teams in the world. In 1995 the team finished second, behind Australia, their highest ever finish.
1995 was a significant tournament for the South African side, who made a return to the international netball arena after 25 years of isolation following apartheid. This year also saw the debut of one of netball’s most influential players – Irene Van Dyk.
The most capped international player of all time, Van Dyk played goal shooter for South Africa before moving to play for New Zealand. Her international career included five Netball World Cups – two for her native South Africa and three for New Zealand – and four Commonwealth Games (1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010). Van Dyk hit the phenomenal 200-Test mark in 2011 and retired from the sport three years later in 2014 aged 42.
Ones to watch:
Bongi Msomi was roped into her first game of netball as a substitute for her local team who were a player short. 13 years later Msomi is captain of the Proteas and has represented South Africa as wing attack at two World Cups – 2011 and 2015. “Netball has become a huge part of the woman I am today,” says Msomi; “It is an honour to play at a World Cup and represent your country.”
Goal attack Lenize Potgieter has her height to thank for getting her into netball. Aged eight she stood taller than most in her class and was invited on to the court to play at school. Now just over six feet tall, Potgieter’s combination of height and athleticism make her a fierce competitor on the court. Netball isn’t her only sport though, the goal attack also played in the national ring tennis team (a game involving opponents tossing a rubber ring over a net dividing the court) alongside her mother and brother. When she isn’t playing netball, Potgieter loves to draw or paint. If selected for the team, Liverpool will be her second time representing South Africa country on a World Cup stage.
Netball was one of the first sports Karla Pretorius was introduced to when she began school and her passion for the sport has lasted over two decades. The goal defence player made her World Cup debut in Sydney in 2015 and also plays in the Australian domestic league for Sunshine Coast Lightning. When Pretorius isn’t playing netball she is drinking coffee and has just completed her masters degree in dietetics.