2023 Netball World Cup preview: Wales

THE 2023 Netball World Cup is almost here, and to help count down to the tournament, Rookie Me Central will be previewing all the competing teams and seeing how they might fair at the tournament.

Today’s focus is the Welsh Feathers.


Wales’ history at the World Cup has been a little up and down.

Although it was there at the first ever edition of the tournament, it did not qualify for the last edition back in 2019. It qualified for this year’s edition with an unbeaten run at the European Netball World Cup Qualifiers.

The best ever result for the Welsh was sixth, which they achieved in 1975 and 1979.


As a country that is not one of the top, dominant countries in world netball, regular matches have been even harder to come by for the Feathers than the top sides.

After a eighth placed finish at last year’s Commonwealth Games, the build up to this year’s World Cup for the Feathers included a narrow win over the Scottish Thistles.


The Feathers will certainly be looking to their experienced heads to lead them at this tournament. This includes the likes of captain Nia Jones and vice captain Bethan Dyke, as well as experienced midcourter Clare Jones.

Ella Powell-Davies had a stellar season playing for the Celtic Dragons in the Netball Super League this year, so will be looking to take that form into the World Cup.

Speaking of the Dragons, one thing Wales have in its favour is the high percentage of players that have come from the same domestic club. Eight members of the Welsh squad played for the Dragons in the Netball Super League in 2023, so these players have still played a lot together this year.

Someone who has not played any netball this year and so will be an interesting one to watch is Lucy Howells. Howells still made the Welsh squad despite not playing in the Super League this year, so time will tell what kind of impact she can have at the World Cup.

The Feathers did have a late change to their squad, with Megan Pilkington coming in as the midcourt reserve to replace Celyn Emanuel.

WALES FIXTURE (start times local)

Friday 28th July – 6pm – South Africa

Saturday 29th July – 11am – Jamaica

Sunday 30th July – 9am – Sri Lanka


Nia Jones, Bethan Dyke, Lucy Howells, Clare Jones, Nansi Kuti, Zoe Matthewman, Shona O’Dwyer, Ella Powell-Davies, Georgia Rowe, Christina Shaw, Sarie Watkins and Phillipa Yarranton

Reserves: Millie Carter, Megan Pilkington and Abigail Caple

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