Hockey Australia today confirms the first-ever Hockeyroos team for the inaugural FIH Pro League matches against the Netherlands and Belgium at Melbourne’s State Netball and Hockey Centre this weekend.
Australia will play their first matches in the world-first FIH Pro League which pits the world’s best nations against each other on a weekly home-and-away basis.
The world number three Hockeyroos will take on the world number one Dutch, who won the World Cup and Champions Trophy in 2018, and 13th-ranked Belgium.
The Netherlands defeated the Hockeyroos in November’s Champions Trophy final and August’s World Cup semis on penalties, so revenge will be on the Australians’ minds.
Georgia Wilson and Mariah Williams both return from long-term injuries for the Hockeyroos in the big positive news from selection.
Wilson hasn’t played since November 2017 after suffering an ACL injury in January 2018, while Williams’ last cap was in April 2017.
Victorians Kristina Bates, Lily Brazel, Rachael Lynch, Hayley Padget, Sophie Taylor and Ashlee Wells are also included for the matches in their home state.
Hockeyroos coach Paul Gaudoin said: “It’s fantastic for Georgia and Mariah. They’ve had long-term injuries, Georgia with her ACL and Mariah with her groin.
“They’ve put in a lot of hard work so it’s pleasing we’ve been able to select them for the games in Melbourne.”
On the opposition, Gaudoin added: “Holland are the best team in the world and it’s a great test for us to start the FIH Pro League. Belgium as well, both games are going to be very tough.
“Belgium are getting better, we saw that at the World Cup with some of their results. We’re looking forward to the challenge.”
Saturday’s matches against the Netherlands will LIVE on FOX SPORTS 507 from 3pm AEDT, while Sunday’s matches against Belgium will be delayed on FOX SPORTS and live on kayosports.com.au.
Tickets are selling fast but still available for the Melbourne matches by ticketbooth.com.au.
Australian home fixtures (*all times are local)
- Kristina Bates
- Edwina Bone
- Lily Brazel
- Emily Chalker
- Jane Claxton
- Madison Fitzpatrick
- Savannah Fitzpatrick
- Jodie Kenny
- Rachael Lynch
- Ambrosia Malone
- Kaitlin Nobbs
- Hayley Padget
- Brooke Peris
- Grace Stewart
- Sophie Taylor
- Ashlee Wells
- Mariah Williams
- Georgia Wilson