2023 Quad Series preview: South Africa

THE 2023 Netball Quad Series is set to get underway this weekend, with Australia, England, New Zealand and South Africa all set to battle it out in Cape Town, South Africa for the title.

In the build up, Rookie Me Central will be taking a look at each of the teams competing at the tournament and analyse their potential at this tournament.

First up, it is tournament host South Africa.

It goes without saying that 2023 is going to be a huge year for South Africa and the sport of netball in the country. Not only are the South Africans hosting this Quad Series, but they are also hosting the World Cup later this year, so they will want a strong performance at both competitions.

The events of this calendar year also come off the back off a year that the South Africans will not want to repeat. The South Africans only finished sixth at the Commonwealth Games, which is not as high as they would have liked and far from where they will want to finish at the World Cup this year.

They come into this tournament arguably ranked the least favourite of the tournament (they are fifth in the world playing the top three) but that is not to say they cannot use that underdog status to their advantage. Speaking of the Commonwealth Games, there have been a number of changes to the South African squad since that tournament and since the SPAR Diamond Challenge in November.

Still lead by captain Bongiwe Msomi and vice captain Shadine Van der Merwe, there are a few experienced faces in this squad that were not on the plane to Birmingham. Lenize Potgieter made her return to the national team in the Diamond Challenge, and will be back to contest this series.

One player that is back this tournament that did not play in either the Diamond Challenge or the Commonwealth Games is worldclass defender Karla Pretorius, who is back in the national team after a year out on maternity leave. She last played for the Proteas in 2021 when they played Northern Ireland.

There is also a familiar face back in the coaching chair, after Norma Plummer jumped back into the role late last year, so she will also be looking to have a great first year back in the job.

South African Squad

Lenize Potgieter; Ine-Marí Venter; Nicholé Taljaard; Nomfundo Mngomezulu; Sesandile Ngubane; Bongiwe Msomi (C); Khanyisa Chawane; Izette Griesel; Refiloe Nketsa; Boitumelo Mahloko; Phumza Maweni; Karla Pretorius; Shadine van der Merwe (VC); Zanele Vimbela; Monique Reyneke-Meyer

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