The Spar-backed Proteas have retained fifth place in the latest world netball rankings ahead of the Quad Series in London.
There has been no change in the top five netball countries, with Australia ranked number one, world champions New Zealand ranked number two, and Commonwealth Games champions England ranked third. They are followed by Jamaica and South Africa, officials said in a statement on Friday.
Uganda, a growing force in world netball, have risen to number six — replacing South Africa’s long-time nemesis, Malawi, who have dropped down to seventh place.
Uganda benefitted from their strong showing at the Africa Netball Cup in Windhoek, which was won by the Proteas.
The tournament is part of a series aimed at helping lower ranked countries to improve their rankings and qualify for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in August.
Zambia dropped two places to 17th and Namibia moved up three places to 22nd.
The Proteas are currently in the United Kingdom for the 2022 Quad Series in London from Saturday to next Wednesday. The other teams taking part are England, Australia and New Zealand. England play South Africa in the first match of the tournament at 4 pm on Saturday.
“I am delighted that we will get a chance to compete at this level, especially after playing Africa Netball Championships and spending time in Ireland and Northern Ireland, respectively. We just need to do a bit of adjusting now and step up,” said Dorette Badenhorst, Proteas head coach.
Proteas captain and current most capped player of the team, Bongiwe Msomi, has confirmed that the players are eager and ready to take to the court: “It is always an honour for anyone of us to take to court and represent our country. The mood in the camp is very jovial and everyone is incredibly positive. We have a few young players in the team and we as the senior players need to make sure that we guide them and hold their hands in this series.”
SuperSport have confirmed all the matches will be broadcast on the Variety 4 DStv channel 209.
The Proteas will also be participating in the Commonwealth Games in July, something the coach is mindful of going into the Quad Series.