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Malawi netball team drawn alongside giants

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Malawi national netball team has been drawn in pool B alongside giants New Zealand ahead of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.

The Queens, who are ranked sixth in the world and second in Africa out of 35 and eight teams, respectively, have also been paired with giants England, Scotland, Wales, Scotland and Uganda.

The draw took place at Surfers Paradise beach in Australia on Wednesday.

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Pool A consists of Australia, Jamaica, South Africa, Barbados, Fiji and Northern Ireland.

Overseen and sanctioned by the International Netball Federation (INF), the draw saw bottom-six-ranked teams randomly put in two pools to determine the match schedule for the preliminary round-robin stage of the competition.

They join top-six-ranked teams who were placed in two pools in a snaking pattern, according to the INF world ranking list as of 1 July, 2017. Australia are ranked number one.

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“Each team will play every other team within their pool during the preliminary round matches, which will be held at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre from 5 to 12 April, before culminating into the final matches at the Coomera Indoor Sports Centre on 14 to 15

April, 2018,” reads part of the Game’s statement.

The Queens Assistant Coach, Sam Kanyenda, welcomed the draw, describing it as fair.

“In that group, the team that we haven’t yet defeated is only New Zealand, so we feel that it is a fair group. All what we need is to start preparations earlier so that we should impress,” he said.

Kanyenda said Malawi’s recent performance at the Africa Netball Championship in Uganda was no cause for concern.

During the continental championship in Uganda, Malawi fell behind the hosts.

“That time, we were coming from a prolonged off-season break and it was difficult to prepare our team. Besides that, we missed the services of six key players. Nevertheless, it was good that we took part in that championship because we gave exposure to some players,” he said.

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