All the training, practice matches and gym sessions are complete and now it all comes down to performing on the pitch as 16 countries battle it out at the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup in London!
The opening weekend sees hosts England take on India in pool B while Germany take on South Africa, the USA face Ireland and Australia play Japan on Saturday.
Sunday sees the reigning champions the Netherlands play Korea with Argentina taking on Spain while China play Italy and New Zealand and Belgium do battle.
The Netherlands head into the tournament after winning the 2014 edition on home soil and come in as favourites. Speaking ahead of the tournament Dutch captain Carlien Van Den Heuvel said: “Everybody is really excited and we are raring to go. We are pumped up to start, we just want to play now! There is a lot of good energy in the squad.”
England and India faced each other twice at the Commonwealth Games, both sides winning one game each and they begin their World Cup campaign against each other on Saturday.
Previewing the tournament England captain Alex Danson said: “There is no place like home. The stadium looks fantastic and we are so grateful to everyone behind the scenes.
“I can’t begin to imagine what it will feel like when we walk out in front of the full stadium with so many people willing us on and we want to do well for them, it’s a fantastic opportunity.”
Italy have qualified for their first World Cup since 1976 and are raring to go on the opening weekend against China. Captain Chiara Tiddi said: “We are really excited to be here qualifying for the first time in 42 years so it will be great moment for us. We are really happy to represent our country here.
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