Northern Ireland netball squad announced for 2022 Commonwealth Games

The 12-person squad announced for the Games. Credit: NI Netball

Seven players will make their Commonwealth Games debut for Northern Ireland's netball team later this summer.

The Warriors are in action of the opening night of competition when they face defending world champions New Zealand at the NEC in Birmingham in July.

Head Coach Elaine Rice has named a mix of experience and youth in her squad ahead of the tournament.

"To select 12 from 28 was really difficult, we have a brilliant bunch of U21’s coming through so to select the squad was challenging,” said Rice.

"Some of the squad may be new to the Commonwealth Games but the likes of Olivia McDonald and Jenna Bowman have had a number of caps but won’t about four years ago.”

"Ciara Crosbie has been to a world cup, they are players that have experience and I have coached them all before and they have played under other coaches at Northern Ireland as well, then we have four younger girls in different areas of the court so that is great too."

As well as defending world champions New Zealand the Warriors are in the same group as hosts England, Malawi, Uganda and Trinidad and Tobago.

"We became Warriors because we fight to the death, our group is really difficult which seems to happen at the Commonwealth’s you get a strong group and a less strong one," added the head coach.

“The African Nations are really coming good, and World Netball are working hard to promote the game in Africa.

“We have to meet Malawi, Uganda and Trinidad and Tobago they are nations that have all held a top 10 spot and are well worth it.

"Malawi and Uganda haven’t been out of the top eight for a while so it is the hardest group you could get along with the world and Commonwealth champions.”

The Warriors warm up for Birmingham with action on the court this weekend at Jordanstown.

"This is an opportunity for the girls that don’t play Super League and even the ones that do to come together and play as Netball NI."

"We had sent the word out to a couple of men’s teams in England and they came back and said they wanted to play.”

"We can a play a tournament over two days and we are putting out two teams so all the Commonwealth girls can get maximum preparation."