Manchester to welcome the world’s best netballers

Manchester is to welcome the world’s best netballers just ahead of the Vitality Netball World Cup in a series of warm-up matches against the Netball Superleague champions Manchester Thunder.

The top three sides in the world – England’s Vitality Roses, Australian Diamonds and Sunshine Girls of Jamaica – will take on Thunder as part of their final preparations for the tournament in Liverpool which begins on Friday 12 July.

  • On Tuesday 2 July, Jamaica, ranked third in the world, will be in action. First centre pass will be at 7.30pm.
  • On Saturday 6 July, Tracey Neville’s Vitality Roses, the Commonwealth champions, will play at Belle Vue at 3.30pm.
  • And, on Sunday 7 July, Australian Diamonds, the defending World champions, will also be in action at Belle Vue with first centre pass at 1.30pm.

Manchester Thunder became the Vitality Netball Superleague champions in May, beating Wasps Netball in the grand final in London.

Thunder’s Director of Netball Karen Greig says this is an exciting opportunity for her side and for the city:

“This is the most exciting time for the sport of netball I can remember so we are thrilled to be able to bring the world’s top three sides to Manchester in their preparations for the Vitality Netball World Cup.

“Just weeks after winning the Superleague title, all of us at Thunder are relishing the prospect of taking on the best players from the countries who want to lift the title in Liverpool on 21 July.

“Whether you’re a netball fan or have never seen a game, this is your chance to see what netball is all about. Buy a ticket, be there and be part of it.”

The warm-ups are being supported by Manchester City Council.

Councillor Luthfur Rahman, Executive Member for Skills, Culture and Leisure said:

“Manchester is no stranger to hosting world class sporting events so we are thrilled that the top three teams in the Netball World Cup have chosen to make their final preparations in Manchester in the lead up to the World Cup.

“We are well placed to host these matches at our facilities as we are home to the Netball Superleague champions, Manchester Thunder, who play their home games at Belle Vue Sports Village. Netball is a hugely popular game and once again Manchester residents have the chance to watch top class athletes perform in our city.”

Tickets for the games are now on sale at