England’s netballers will face defending champions New Zealand and world number six team South Africa in the preliminary round of the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games.
The draw for 2010 has just been released and puts England in pool B along with New Zealand, South Africa, the Cook Islands, Barbados and Papua New Guinea.
England, who won netball bronze at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games four years ago and are currently ranked at three in the world, will open their campaign on Monday 4 October against Barbados, currently ranked 11th in the world.
The following day they take on world number six team South Africa, then on Thursday 7 October they face defending champions New Zealand, currently ranked number two in the world.
On Friday 8 October England play the Cook Islands, ranked seven in the world, and they conclude their preliminary round games against Papua New Guinea on Sunday 10 October.
The top two teams in each of the two pools progress to the semi-finals on Tuesday 12 October. The competition will reach its climax on Thursday 14 October with the gold and bronze medal matches.  
Australia, the reigning world champions and ranked one in the world, head pool A, which also features Jamaica, Malawi, Samoa, Trinidad and host nation India.
Sue Hawkins, England National Coach, said: “You can never under-estimate anyone at the Commonwealth Games.
“It will be a challenge all the way through, but I’m confident we will be in the top two in our pool.  I’m looking forward to meeting Australia and I’m hoping we can hit them when it comes to the final.
“We’ve got a team that’s been stepping up in the last couple of years,” she added. “We’ve taken leaps and bounds and we’re still not at our full potential.
“In another six months we will be sharper and a bit fitter, and we will be as well prepared internationally as we can be,” she said. “We’re looking forward to the challenge.”
Netball has featured at the last three Commonwealth Games and England have won two medals to date – a bronze at Kuala Lumpur in 1998 and another bronze in Melbourne. They were just pipped to bronze by Jamaica at the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games.
Australia and New Zealand are the only two teams to have won netball gold at the Commonwealth Games, with Australia winning in 1998 and 2002 and New Zealand triumphing in Melbourne four years ago.
The 2010 Commonwealth Games take place in Delhi, India, from 3 to 14 October 2010. They will feature 17 sports - archery, aquatics (swimming, synchronised swimming & diving), athletics, badminton, boxing, cycling, gymnastics, hockey, lawn bowls, netball, rugby 7s, shooting, squash, table tennis, tennis, weightlifting and wrestling. With the 2012 Olympic Games in London and the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Commonwealth Games England is entering a breath-taking four years of sport.

Commonwealth Games England (GCE) is the organisation responsible for selecting and organising England's team at the Commonwealth Games.   England finished second to Australia on the medal table at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games with 36 golds, 40 silvers and 34 bronzes.

Sport England is responsible for building the foundations of sporting success, by creating a world-leading community sport system of clubs, coaches, facilities and volunteers. Their focus is growing and sustaining the numbers of people taking part in sport and improving talent development to help more people excel.
England Netball

England Netball is the national governing body for Netball in England and is responsible for delivering the sports development and participation programme in line with Sport England’s Whole Sport Plan. Sport England funds national governing bodies to deliver three outcomes - grow, sustain and excel.

England Netball is a membership based organisation with over 70,000 affiliated members currently registered. This figure is set to increase as is the participation level for the sport. As recorded by the Active People Survey March 2010, Netball has already achieved its 4 year target, with over 143,000 women playing Netball every week. Netball is one of only four sports to have consistently increased its participation figures and despite overall female participation in sport showing a decline, Netball is successfully bucking this trend.
For further information about Commonwealth Games England please contact the Commonwealth Games England press office at Matchtight Ltd on 07765 071683 or 07831 755351 or see the CGE’s website at www.weareengland.org <http://www.weareengland.org <http://www.weareengland.org> >
For further information about netball in England please go to the England Netball website at http://www.englandnetball.co.uk/ <http://www.englandnetball.co.uk/> or contact Anna Hopkins PR & Marketing England Netball at [email protected]  or on 0754 012 6601