Hockey Australia today announces the Hockeyroos 18-member team for this month’s Tri Nations series against New Zealand and Japan in Cromwell, New Zealand.
The Tri Nations will be crucial preparation for the Hockeyroos ahead of the 2018 World Cup in London in July and August where they’re pooled with both New Zealand and Japan, along with Belgium.
Australia are currently ranked fifth in the world, behind New Zealand who are fourth while Japan are 12th.
The Black Sticks defeated the Hockeyroos last month in the Commonwealth Games gold medal match on the Gold Coast.
The National Selectors have made six changes from the Commonwealth Games team with a view to giving players an opportunity to show their wares.
Kristina Bates, Lily Brazel, Kalindi Commerford, Madison Fitzpatrick, Kathryn Slattery and Ashlee Wells come into the team, having not been included for the Commonwealth Games.
Hockeyroos coach Paul Gaudoin said: “We weren’t able to get the result we wanted at the Commonwealth Games in the end and we want to give some players an opportunity to show what they can do.
“We think we can get some better knowledge and information for when we select the final group for the World Cup.”
The Hockeyroos will play four round-robin fixtures at the Tri Nations plus finals from May 19-27.
Gaudoin said there was plenty to gain from the Tri Nations.
“We want to ensure we’re still unpredictable when we get to the World Cup,” Gaudoin said.
“We also want to use this tournament as an opportunity to individually develop some players.
“Also we want to make sure we’re working on creating and scoring more goals.
“Our defence was solid at the Commonwealth Games but we need to find ways to create more chances and finish those chances.”
Captain Emily Smith and defender Jodie Kenny are both in line to bring up their 200th caps during the tour.
Follow @Hockeyroos on Twitter for updates throughout the Tri Nations series. The semi final/final will be streamed with more details to follow.
Hockeyroos team for Tri Nations:
Athlete (City, State)
Kristina Bates (Mont Albert, VIC)
Jocelyn Bartram (Albury, NSW)
Edwina Bone (Orange, NSW) *Plays for ACT
Lily Brazel (Sydney, NSW) *Plays for VIC
Kalindi Commerford (Mollymook, NSW) *Plays for ACT
Madison Fitzpatrick (Cabarita Beach, NSW) *Plays for QLD
Savannah Fitzpatrick (Cabarita Beach, NSW) *Plays for QLD
Emily Hurtz (Sydney, NSW) *Plays for VIC
Jodie Kenny (Wamuran, QLD)
Stephanie Kershaw (Townsville, QLD)
Karri McMahon (Berri, SA)
Kaitlin Nobbs (Newington, NSW)
Brooke Peris (Darwin, NT)
Kathryn Slattery (South Stirling, WA)
Emily Smith (c) (Crookwell, NSW)
Grace Stewart (Gerringong, NSW)
Renee Taylor (Everton Park, QLD)
Ashlee Wells (Morwell, VIC)
Tri Nations Women’s International Hockey Match Schedule (all times AEST):
Sunday 20 May 12:30pm – New Zealand vs Australia
Monday 21 May 4:30pm – Australia vs Japan
Wednesday 23 May 4:30pm – New Zealand vs Australia
Thursday 24 May 4:30pm – Australia vs Japan
Saturday 26 May 2:30pm – Playoff for final (2nd vs 3rd)
Sunday 27 May 12:30pm – Final