Rachel Dunn: ‘This World Cup will be a monumental moment for netball’

Rachel Dunn lines up a shot
‘I remember playing Superleague games in front of a couple of hundred people’ (Image: Eliza Morgan)

Rachel Dunn is a veteran shooter, England Netball legend and genetic scientist. At 36 she is enjoying the perfect netball of her life and has simply been named within the Roses squad for this summer season’s World Cup in Liverpool.

She wasn’t included in final yr’s Commonwealth Video games squad, however she has greater than proved her price to any doubters.

A close to faultless efficiency on the Quad Sequence in January made Dunn an simple possibility for choice – she scored 25 of 26 photographs towards South Africa and was named participant of the match – her expertise, bodily power and unorthodox type imply she’s a critical menace for any opposition.

‘I’ve been a a part of this sport for, properly, a very long time, and since I first began out, each domestically and internationally, it has boomed massively,’ Dunn tells Metro.co.uk.



‘I remember playing Superleague games in front of a couple of hundred people, and now – well, I just played the Superleague final at the Copper Box, it was a sell-out, the crowd was amazing, and there was full TV coverage. It’s a complete completely different world, and the progress we have now made is unbelievable.’

Dunn has performed greater than 200 Superleague video games throughout her 16-year profession, and she or he first donned the long-lasting England costume in 2004. She has two Commonwealth bronze medals to her title, so a medal from a house World Cup would prime off a stellar profession.

‘It’s nice to be in netball at this moment. The chance to have a house World Cup and construct on the momentum of final yr’s gold medal – it’s actually unbelievable,’ says Dunn.

Rachel Dunn head shot
‘When that crowd roars for us it feels like there’s one other participant on courtroom’ (Image: Bryn Lennon/Getty Photos for England Netball)

‘I know the crowd are going to deliver. The Quad Series in January was the perfect example, both in the Liverpool and at the Copper Box, the crowd was just electric. I know what it’s wish to have the house crowd behind you – they are surely like an eighth participant, and that may be actually invaluable.

‘I think the UK, generally, is really good at supporting when we are the home nation – we saw it at the Olympics in 2012 – people just love having something to get behind. When that crowd roars for us it feels like there’s one other participant on courtroom.’



This January’s Quad Sequence was Dunn’s calling card, giving her the platform to indicate England coach Tracey Neville precisely what she will do. However lacking out on the win makes it a bittersweet reminiscence for the shooter.

‘The fact that we beat both New Zealand and Australia, then had a blip against South Africa – it came down to just goal difference, so that was really annoying for me,’ says Dunn.

‘But to put in a couple of stellar performance against the top nations – it was a critical time to do that, it was really important.’

The England Roses World Cup squad

Helen Housby (GA, GS)

Joanne Harten (GS, GA)

Natalie Haythornthwaite (WA, GA)

Rachel Dunn (GA, GS)

Serena Guthrie (C, WD)

Jade Clarke (C, WD)

Chelsea Pitman (WA)

Natalie Panagarry (C, WD)

Layla Guscoth (GD, WD)

Eboni Usoro-Brown (GK, GD)

Geva Mentor (GK)

Francesca Williams (GD, WD)

She might have missed out on final summer season’s gold medal glory, however constant performances for her Superleague aspect, Wasps, have stored Dunn in competition. She knew she had extra to present on the worldwide stage.

‘After the World Cup in 2015 I was kind of on the edge of the England programme, I took a step back from it. But, I’m not getting any youthful and I’m nonetheless enjoying OK, so I made a decision to come back again into the fold once more and see what occurs.

‘I had the opportunity against Australia in the Quad Series and I just really, really enjoyed it. The team was playing really well, it all just clicked and we managed to get that result. It still gets to me that a couple more goals would have got the win.’


Dunn is a grasp of the double life. Alongside weekly Superleague matches and now, intensive England coaching camps, she can be a genetic scientist – in her day job she works on the most recent DNA methods for non-invasive being pregnant screening.

So how on earth does she steadiness such a demanding profession with the schedule of an elite, worldwide athlete?

‘I have very accommodating employers, and accommodating coaches basically,’ explains Dunn.

‘I do think that I skirt along the border of craziness sometimes, depending on how busy it is – but it’s simply one thing that I’ve at all times finished.

‘I came up in an era when there wasn’t a full-time programme out there. You needed to have a job, in any other case you wouldn’t survive. And there are nonetheless a lot of Superleague gamers now who’re in that state of affairs. We do nonetheless want extra funding.

The England Roses
‘Right now, excitement levels in the England camp are sky high’ (Image: Eliza Morgan)

‘Hopefully, as the sport progresses, we will be in a position to get extra Superleague gamers to go part-time – then they will be in a position to practice extra and that will enhance the usual of the whole league.

‘But for me – I just got used to doing it. You get used to being tired a lot. My one weakness is that I’m not excellent at replying to emails – that’s the one factor that sort of goes out the window. So I’m undoubtedly a bit slacking in some areas.

‘It’s all about early mornings, late nights and simply having first rate organisational abilities – that’s what’s helped me survive up up to now, and that’s what permits me to get my work finished and my coaching finished.’


It sounds exhausting. It’s important to be a sure sort of particular person to tackle this problem and cope with the relentless pressures and obligations. For Rachel, she couldn’t think about lacking out on the highs she will get from enjoying.

‘You’ve bought to seize the alternatives in life,’ she says.

‘I had the opportunity to work in a field that I love, and I decided to do the netball thing as well. I just wanted to make the most of what was available to me at that time. It’s not at all times straightforward – however I make it work with work and my coaches, so that you simply keep on.

‘However taking breaks is so essential too! When I’ve downtime, I actually take pleasure in it. I take pleasure in getting out within the countryside, making an attempt to modify off.

‘I do find it actually helps doing both – working and playing elite netball. When I’ve had a actually laborious day at work, I can go and hit the netball courtroom and also you overlook all the things that’s occurred.

‘It’s the identical the opposite approach – you might need a dangerous recreation, however at work on Monday morning, they don’t actually care how you bought on on the weekend, so long as I’m getting the work finished. So mentally, that does actually assist me as a result of it permits me to modify from one factor to the opposite – and never get too slowed down in both.

‘You can’t practice on a regular basis, so it’s essential for the youthful technology to consider what abilities they’ll develop whereas being an athlete.

‘Things that can help them in their future careers, and as athletes, there are so many transferable skills that can be applicable in a workplace – so it’s nearly focusing in on that, and fascinated by what you take pleasure in and what you may realistically handle alongside coaching.

‘Proper now, pleasure ranges within the England camp are sky excessive. The considered a house World Cup is simply unbelievably thrilling. Everybody has been enjoying for their home golf equipment for fairly a whereas and to have everybody again collectively feels sensible.

‘This is such an incredible time to be playing netball – this World Cup will be monumental, whether you’re enjoying or watching, it will be enormous for the sport as a complete.’

Rachel Dunn is a member of the Vitality Roses, Vitality Well being and Life Insurance coverage and Investments are proud sponsors of the Roses and Vitality Netball World Cup 2019.

There are precisely 50 days to go till the Netball World Cup. The motion kicks off on 12th July and Sky Sports activities will be stay streaming each single match on Sky Sports activities’ YouTube channel.

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