England have overtaken New Zealand to move up to second – their highest position to date – in the International Netball Federation’s World Rankings.
It is the first time the top two spots on the international ladder haven’t been occupied by Australia and New Zealand since the introduction of the system in 2008.
The introduction of the full-time programme in 2016 has seen Tracey Neville’s side enjoy increasing success over the last few years and has allowed them to compete consistently at the highest level of the sport.
The Roses’ rise in the rankings follows their historic gold medal at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, where they stunned the Samsung Australian Diamonds to take their first major title.
They previously came within one goal of world champions Samsung Australian Diamonds in the January 2017 Vitality Netball International Series, as part of the Netball Quad Series, and also secured two wins in the space of two weeks over the New Zealand Silver Ferns after just four victories in their 87 previous attempts.
Discussing England’s rise in the rankings, England Netball CEO, Joanna Adams, said: “This is a monumental moment in international netball – there is now a new world order.
“For years, Australia and New Zealand have dominated both the top of the rankings and major finals.
“To see England break into the top two is testament to the hard work, sacrifice and dedication of all the players and staff over the last few years.
“It also demonstrates how critical investment into our sport is and the move to introduce a full-time programme is paying dividends.
“Transitioning players to full time status was to accelerate the development of the England Roses’ success and get even closer to the top two teams in the world.
“We now are one of the top two teams in the world.”
“The momentum around and interest in England Netball at present is phenomenal – It’s us. It’s now.”
England Roses Head Coach, Tracey Neville commented: “It’s such a historic moment for us.
“Australia and New Zealand have long dominated those top two spots so the fact that we’re now up there is brilliant.
“I recognise that winning gold at the Commonwealth Games had an impact on our ranking place but it’s also our results prior to that too.
“We’re becoming far more consistent against those top teams.
“It really shows all the fantastic work that the players and staff have been putting in over the last few years, I am so proud.”
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Photo: Rémy Gros