Netball World Cup 2019: How does it work and who are the favourites?

Media playback is not supported on this device

The Netball World Cup BBC Trail 2019
2019 Netball World Cup on the BBC
Venue: Liverpool Arena Dates: 12-21 July
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, Connected TVs, BBC Sport website and app from 15 July; Follow daily live text commentaries online. Full details.

England's bid to win a first Netball World Cup is a "massive occasion", says Roses defender Geva Mentor.

The Commonwealth champions are hosting the tournament and start their campaign at Liverpool Arena on 12 July - as do Scotland and Northern Ireland.

England and Scotland have been placed together in Group D, while Northern Ireland face title-holders Australia in Group A.

"I'd love to just steam ahead with a 15-goal win in the final," says Mentor.

"The dream would be to play Australia in the final but I'm happy to play anyone, as along as we're there. Nothing less will be good enough."

Winning in front of a home crowd at what will be coach Tracey Neville's last tournament before she takes a break to have a family would be a perfect way to follow up England's Commonwealth gold, but there are plenty of other teams who could ruin the hosts' fairytale ending.

Here, BBC Sport takes a look at some of the contenders and what they need to do to reach the final on 21 July.

Team nicknames
EnglandRosesZimbabweGems
Northern IrelandWarriorsSri LankaLankans
ScotlandThistlesBarbadosBajan Gems
AustraliaDiamondsFijiPearls
New ZealandSilver FernsSouth AfricaProteas
JamaicaSunshine GirlsMalawiQueens
UgandaShe-CranesTrinidad and TobagoCalypso Girls

How does the Netball World Cup work and who is taking part?

The tournament starts with 16 teams competing in four round-robin groups from Friday, 12 July, until Sunday, 14 July.

The top three teams in Group A and B will move through to play in Group F, while the top three sides in Group C and D will move into Group G.

The bottom team from each group in the first preliminary stage will go into Group E and will play off for places 13 to 16.

Teams finishing first and second in groups F and G will go through to the semi-finals on 20 July, with the top-placed team in each group facing the second team in the other group.

The winners of each semi-final will compete for gold in the final, with the losers playing for bronze and the other remaining teams will compete for final placings from fifth to 16th.

Preliminaries - stage one groups (12-14 July)
Group AGroup BGroup CGroup D
AustraliaNew ZealandJamaicaEngland
Northern IrelandMalawiSouth AfricaUganda
ZimbabweBarbadosTrinidad and TobagoScotland
Sri LankaSingaporeFijiSamoa

Who are the favourites?

Eleven-time winners Australia are top of the world rankings and should make it through the first group stage fairly easily, with the next highest-ranked team they face being world number eight side Northern Ireland.

But the Diamonds squad includes nine players who are making their World Cup debut and Jamaica could threaten their gold-medal chances.

The Sunshine Girls lost to England by one goal in the 2018 Commonwealth Games semi-final but overtook the Roses to take second in the world rankings earlier in July.

England have never finished outside the top four at a World Cup but have only reached the final once, in 1975.

The hosts will believe they can go one step further this year, bolstered by their victory against current world champions Australia on the Gold Coast in April.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Netball World Cup: England, Scotland & NI stars try Scouse phrases

Who are the outsiders?

New Zealand, who have won the World Cup four times, are hovering just below England in the world rankings and bring an experienced squad to Liverpool.

Like Australia, the Silver Ferns' preliminary group should give them little trouble, although they could face the Diamonds in the second group stage.

In Group C, South Africa will have to beat Jamaica or England to make it to the semi-finals but the world number five side are still in with a chance of winning the World Cup for the first time.

Who is most likely to cause an upset?

South Africa's long-time rivals Malawi recently dropped from sixth to ninth place in the world rankings but the Queens stunned New Zealand at the Commonwealth Games and a similarly impressive performance could get them to their first World Cup semi-final.

England and Scotland will have to be wary of Uganda in Group D, with the world number six side capable of producing some unlikely results, but the Roses can take confidence from their 3-0 series whitewash against them in December.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Netball World Cup: Corbin sisters reveal fun facts about England Roses

How you can follow the World Cup on the BBC

We will be providing live text coverage of the home nations' games on the opening weekend on the BBC Sport website.

From Monday, 15 July, matches will be shown on BBC Two, Connected TVs, the BBC Sport website and mobile sport app, with coverage hosted by Hazel Irvine, alongside former England centre-courter Sara Bayman, who will provide expert punditry and an inside perspective of the Roses camp.

NetBallers, a new BBC Radio 5 Live podcast featuring England players Kadeen and Sasha Corbin, will debate all the big talking points with fans and special guests, while the BBC Sport website will host live texts, features and columns from England star Serena Guthrie.

BBC Sport has launched #ChangeTheGame this summer to showcase female athletes in a way they never have been before. Through more live women's sport available to watch across the BBC this summer, complemented by our journalism, we are aiming to turn up the volume on women's sport and alter perceptions. Find out more here.

Top Stories