Wasps Netball stars selected for World Cup

Three Wasps Netball stars have been named in the England Vitality Roses squad for the Netball World Cup.

Jade Clarke, Fran Williams and Rachel Dunn have been selected by England Head Coach Tracey Neville to represent the nation in Liverpool this July.

The Netball World Cup will be staged from 12–21 July at the M&S Bank Arena, with Wasps mid-court dynamo Bongi Msomi also set to star as captain for South Africa in the tournament.

Wasps Head Coach Mel Mansfield said the call-ups are recognition for the fantastic season the players have had in Black and Gold and their hard work in the international set-up.

She said: “We’re delighted that Rachel, Jade and Fran have all been selected and that their performances in the Superleague and at international level have been recognised.

“It is fantastic news for Bongi too, who will again lead out South Africa. We are very proud to see Wasps represented so well at the World Cup.”

It will mark Clarke’s fifth successive World Cup, who is England’s all-time record-appearance holder, and two-time bronze medal winner, in 2011 and 2015.

Mansfield said: “Jade has had an outstanding season - she is in the form of her life.

“She already has a Gold Medal from the Commonwealth Games and knows how to win. Jade is an incredible athlete and will approach the World Cup with a winning mentality, which can only benefit the whole squad.”

Goal Shooter Rachel Dunn came away from the Quad Series as one of England’s most talked about stars, securing Player of the Match honours in the clash against Australia.

She was named Vitality Netball Superleague Player of the Season and is set to team up with ex-Wasp Natalie Haythornthwaite as one of four shooters included in the squad.

“Rachel’s call-up is well deserved. She is a great character and will be a real asset, both on and off the court,” said Mansfield.

“With Wasps she has played with great freedom this year, winning Superleague Player of the Season and offers everything you need in a Goal Shooter.”

Williams received her England debut against Uganda last October and went on to feature in the Quad Series in January.

The 21-year-old starred at Goal Defence for Wasps in the Superleague and played the full 60 minutes in the semi-final and Grand Final.

Mansfield said: “Fran has improved as a player over the last year and won her England place with performances in the Quad Series and Uganda series.

“She is a natural leader at a young age, able to take responsibility on the court and I’m sure will deliver for England at the World Cup and for years to come.”

The full England 12-player squad list includes Helen Housby, Joanne Harten, Natalie Haythornthwaite, Rachel Dunn, Serena Guthrie, Jade Clarke, Chelsea Pitman, Natalie Panagarry, Layla Guscoth, Eboni Usoro-Brown, Geva Mentor and Francesca Williams.

The Netball World Cup opens on Friday 12 July, with England playing Uganda on the opening day, and closes with the World Cup Final on Sunday 21 July.