Reigning back-to-back world champions Australia takes on Ireland. Ireland, who qualified for the Olympics for the first time in 2016, are only competing at their third World Cup this year, having never finished better than 12th.

Australia last played Ireland at the Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia in March, winning 4-1. Ireland finished last in that six-team tournament with one win and four losses.

Pointing to those results and the FIH Women’s World Cup earlier this year, where Ireland reached the final, Batch said the Kookaburras wouldn’t be taking anyone lightly.

“Any team can cause an upset here,” Batch said at the pre-match press conference. “I think Ireland is one of those teams. We haven’t played them since earlier this year. It’s a different group that we’re playing against. They’ve had some good results in Europe. We’re not underestimating them. We need to take care of our own performance. They’ll be a very competitive and difficult opponent for us on Friday so we need to play at our best.”

Australia heads into the 2018 World Cup as one of the favourites for the title, given their 2010 and 2014 success, as well as their success over the past 12 months at the World League Final, Commonwealth Games and Champions Trophy.

Kookaburras co-captain Aran Zalewski said the players were out to create their own history.

“It’s great that Australia has such a proud history in World Cups. We have taken experiences from the past but this is completely different group. We have now got 10 guys making their debut at World Cup.For us as a team this is our first real chance of winning a World Cup as a group. We are not taking it as pressure but as a challenge.” he said.

Australia Team and Player Stats and Squad

  • World Rank : 1
  • Last Appearance: 2014 (1st)
  • Head Coach : Colin Batch
  • Goalkeeper : Andrew Charter/ Tyler Lovell
  • Most Capped Player : Eddie Ockenden (332)
  • Youngest Player : Tim Brand (19)
  • Oldest Player : Eddie Ockenden, Tyler Lovell & Andrew Charter (31)

Australia Full Squad: Andrew Charter, Tyler Lovell, Daniel Beale, Timothy Brand, Tom Craig, Matthew Dawson, Blake Govers, Jake Harvie, Jeremy Hayward, Tim Howard, Trent Mitton, Eddie Ockenden, Flynn Ogilvie, Matthew Swann, Corey Weyer, Jake Whetton, Dylan Wotherspoon, Aran Zalewski

Ireland Team and Player Stats and Squad

  • World Rank : 10
  • Last Appearance: 1990 {12th)
  • Head Coach : Alexander Cox
  • Goalkeepers : David Harte/ David Fitzgerald
  • Most Capped Player : Eugene Magee (273)
  • Youngest Player : Matthew Nelson (20)
  • Oldest Player : David Fitzgerald (32)

Ireland Full Squad: David Harte, David Fitzgerald, Jonathan Bell, Matthew Bell, Luke Madeley, Chris Cargo, Matthew Nelson, Alen Sothern, Eugene Magee, Kirk Shimmins, Shane O’donoghue, Sean Murray, Mitch Darling, Michael Robson, Daragh Walsh, Paul Gleghorne, Cornor Harte, Jeremey Duncan, Lee Cole, Stuart Loughrey