Great Britain set for Australia test

Nick Catlin celebrates scoring against Aus in the World league

Bobby Crutchley’s Great Britain side are all set to take on World No1 Australia in the first of a the three test series tomorrow at 730am UK time. Those of you up and around early in the morning will be able to follow the action live online as these two sides take another step on the road to Rio.

The stakes are always high when these two old sporting foes lock horns and with a number of players from both teams looking to force their way into the reckoning for the Hockey Champions Trophy and the Olympic Games each and every individual will be desperate to give their best and catch the coach’s eye.

Bobby Crutchley has named a travelling party of 22 players with a blend of experienced campaigners and some exciting up and comers. Simon Mantell will win his 200th cap in the next match he features in whilst at the other end of the scale; the likes of David Ames, Ian Sloan and Sam Ward are gaining valuable experience all the time.

Australia’s record against Great Britain is a proud one. The two teams have met 54 times with the Kookaburras winning 32 of those with a goal difference of 137 for and 70 against. More recently, honours have been a bit more even, however with Great Britain winning two and drawing one of the last six meetings between the two sides.

The last clash was a 5-2 win for Bobby Crutchley’s team at the World League Final in India. It was Great Britain’s biggest ever win over the Kookaburras and included a first GB goal for Henry Weir.

Head Coach Crutchley is relishing the challenge, telling Great Britain Hockey:

“This is another important part of our preparation for the Champions Trophy and the Olympic Games. We want to challenge ourselves against the best and Australia in their own back yard is about as tough as it gets.”

“It’s a great opportunity for the squad to play against a different style of hockey in different conditions and will be a chance for a number of individuals to stake a claim for selection for the tournaments this summer. It’s not going to be easy but we are really looking forward to a positive trip and continuing our development as a group ahead of a big summer of hockey.”

The Kookaburras have chosen a squad of 27 athletes to take part over the three games including the return of Glenn Turner, Tim Deavin, Trent Mitton, Dylan Wotherspoon, Daniel Beale, Joshua Beltz, Kiel Brown, Tristan Clemons, Matthew Swann and Andrew Philpott to their squad for the first time in 2016.

Australia Head Coach, Graham Reid said: “We’ve chosen a larger squad than usual to take part in the series against Great Britain, and it’s great that playing in Narrogin and Perth has given us the opportunity to do so. This is really to give everyone the chance to show their worth, and for discovery ahead of both the Champions Trophy and the Olympic Games selection.”

With the two sides facing off in their opening Champions Trophy clash in London on Friday 10 June and then again at the Olympics, this series will also give both sides the chance to strike a psychological blow to their rivals.

Both these teams will come out of the test series raring to go for the Hockey Champions Trophy in London this June. with a re-run of the test series set for the opening Friday of the competition this promises to be a clash not to be missed. Tickets to all days of the Champions Trophy can be bought here.  

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