Burning revenge behind Aussie World Cup
AUSTRALIA'S quest for Commonwealth Games redemption at the 2019 Netball World Cup begins on Friday night in Liverpool, England.
Coach Lisa Alexander's team are hoping to win the prestigious tournament for a fourth-consecutive time - and this year have the added motivation of revenging their loss to England at last year's Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
The tournament runs from July 12-22, culminating in the final at 2am on Monday morning (AEST) on the last day of the event.
Here is everything you need to know about Australia's quest for a world record fourth straight Netball World Cup triumph.
Nickname: The Diamonds
World Cup wins: 11 (1963, 1971, 1975, 1979, 1983, 1991, 1995, 1999, 2007,2011, 2015).
World Cup final appearances: 14
The dominant team in the world game are the team to beat in Liverpool as they look for an astonishing 12th world title in 55 years.
Although the squad contains nine World Cup rookies, they boast some of the sport's outstanding players in mid-courter Liz Watson and goal shooters Caitlin Bassett and Gretel Tippet.
Australia's Group A matches:
Fri July 12 vs Northern Ireland at 7.30pm (AEST), live on 9GEM
Sat July 13 vs Zimbabwe 5.45pm (AEST), live on 9GEM
Sun July 14 vs Sri Lanka 11.45pm (EAST), live on Nine
Nickname: The Sunshine Girls
World Cup wins: 0
Denied a spot in the Commonwealth Games final by just one goal against England, the Sunshine Girls have gone from being an emerging force to a genuine title contender. A talented squad has benefited hugely from players being exposed to Super Netball in Australia. None more so than Adelaide Thunderbirds intercept queen Shamera Sterling.
Nickname: The Roses
World Cup wins: 0
Produced their greatest ever moment at the Commonwealth Games last year by stunning red-hot favourites Australia with a dramatic last-second goal that sealed gold medal on the Gold Coast.
However, being the host nation adds extra pressure to a side not used to being bracketed as a tournament favourite.
Nickname: The Silver Ferns
World Cup wins: 4 (1967, 1979, 1987, 2003)
New Zealand have gone for experience over new blood despite a disappointing Commonwealth Games campaign that saw them well beaten by five goals by Jamaica in the bronze medal match. Skipper Laura Langman is still a class act at 33 and Maria Folau will be hoping the woes of husband Israel are behind her and show she is still a threat in front of goal.
Nickname: The Proteas
World Cup wins: 0
Under the guidance of former Diamonds coach Plummer, the Proteas announced themselves as a team to watch in Liverpool by beating England in January's quad series in London. A deeply unlucky draw will see them needing to beat Jamaica or potentially England to book a semi-final spot. However, in Sunshine Coast Lightning defender Karla Pretorius, South Africa boast one of the world's best players.
ICONIC MOMENT THAT HAS AUSTRALIA CHASING REVENGE
Australia is still burning from the moment England pulled off a miraculous upset to stun Australia in the final of the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in wild scenes that attracted attention from around the world.
Australia tied the game at 51-51 with just 20 seconds to play, but England plunged a dagger into the Diamonds with a shot taken after time had elapsed.
WHO ARE THE FAVOURITES?
Australia remain favourites to win the tournament with most bookmakers.
New Zealand $9
South Africa $18
Northern Ireland $1001
HOW TO WATCH THE NETBALL WORLD CUP
Channel 9 and 9GEM will broadcast all of Australia's matches and the World Cup final.
WHAT IS THE TOURNAMENT STRUCTURE
16 teams have been drawn into four Groups where they will each play each other once.
The top three teams from each group progress to a second group stage.
The top three teams from Group A (Australia's group) will then play the top three teams from Group B, while the top three teams from Group C will play the top three sides from Group D.
The top four teams (two from each group) from the second group stage will then progress to the semi-finals, both scheduled for Saturday July 20.
The final is scheduled for 2am (AEST) on Monday July 22.