27 Oct 2007

Pacific netball teams gather for World Netball Championships next month

9:34 am on 27 October 2007

South Africa's Proteas will lead the charge of 16 teams arriving in Auckland to contest the World Netball World Championships from November 10.

The Proteas, ranked fifth in the world, arrive November 1st, for the eight-day tournament to be played at the Trusts Stadium in Waitakere.

Elma MaUa reports.

"Scotland are expected to touch down around the same time, but will spend time playing the regional sides in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato. New Zealand fresh from a five-day warm-up tour to Melbourne, will move into their Auckland base on November 3. Perennial rivals Australia, who have been in boot camp lugging bricks with police officers and playing the Victorian men's side, arrive two days later. Eight of the competing nations will get a pre-taste of the New Zealand netball style with shake-down games against the New Zealand under-21 squad. The Samoan team, led by ex-Silver Fern defender Linda Vagana, has a strong New Zealand influence, but will get together in Samoa before heading to Auckland. The Cook Islands side, coached by former New Zealand captain Ana Noovao, will assemble in south Auckland before settling into their world championship base. Fiji will name their 12-strong side this weekend, after an intense training camp in both Fiji and Australia. They will be one of the last teams to fly into the country. Jamaica have chosen to travel to New Zealand with 14 players and will whittle down their squad to the regulation 12 before the November 10 deadline. No nation will be able to change their teams after that date."