By virtue of their outstanding play during the recent Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls have moved up a place in World Netball’s global rankings.

The Sunshine Girls who defeated world number-one Australia and number-two New Zealand before losing to Australia in the final, have climbed a spot to number three in the world rankings released on Monday.

Meanwhile, Barbados’ Gems failed to win a single match at the Commonwealth Games and have dropped two places to 14th in the rankings. Trinidad and Tobago, meanwhile, fell one place to 11th.

According to World Netball, “Since the last WN World Rankings update published, on  March 1, 2022, many international test series and events have taken place including the PacificAUS Series, Europe Netball Open Challenge, COSANA Tri-Nations Series, Wales International Test Series, Netball World Cup 2023 Qualifiers – Oceania, and most recently, the 38 matches at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

“Within the top six teams Jamaica has moved up to third in the world, whilst England has dropped to fourth, this comes after Jamaica made history at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games making their first final and winning a silver medal.”

World Netball said the new rankings mean that world number-one Australia, New Zealand (2), Jamaica (3) and England (4) will now be invited to compete at the NWC2023. Uganda (6) will also be invited; they have also qualified through their world ranking, due to South Africa (5) pre-qualifying as hosts.

The Netball World Cup 2023 Qualifier – Oceania has already taken place with Tonga and Fiji qualifying to be invited by World Netball to compete at the event.

Tonga finished unbeaten at both the PacificAUS Series in March 2022 and the Netball World Cup Qualifier Oceania in July 2022.

World Netball requires teams to have played six or more matches in the ranking period to be eligible for a World Ranking.  Tonga has reached this threshold again and they now regain a world ranking, entering 9th place in the world.  This is a remarkable achievement as their highest previous ranking was 19th.

Malta (35) Israel (39) and Switzerland (45) have also regained a ranking after playing the required number of matches by competing at the Europe Netball Open Challenge in May.

The success of Tonga has led to Scotland moving down one place to 10, and Trinidad & Tobago and Northern Ireland also moving down one place to 11 and 12.

There have also been many changes lower down the table with Barbados, Cook Islands and Samoa all moving down two places, whilst the Republic of Ireland have moved up four places to 24th after winning the Europe Netball Open Challenge.

Following the federation’s official rebrand to World Netball, the international governing body has announced appointments of two of Jamaica’s best-loved netball stars – Marva Bernard OD, and Shamera Sterling - as official ambassadors.

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