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SA men ready for Russia

No new caps but two new teams … that’s the latest news on the South African men’s hockey team and the upcoming Four Nations tournament in Russia later this month.

Mark Etheridge writes that the 18-strong squad was announced yesterday after an intensive training week-long camp in Pretoria that finished on Sunday.

Said national coach Gregg Clark: ‘There are no new caps to announce but 10 of the players are from the team that took part against Germany and Russia in March this year.

‘Five of them represented South Africa at the Beijing Olympics last year. I’m very happy with the way the camp went and we have an excited, motivated and ambitious group of players.’

Where there are changes is in the team make-up for the tournament in Elektosal, near Moscow.

Leading hockey nations India and Pakistan have been withdrawn.

‘I’m not sure why but they have been replaced by Canada and Bangladesh,’ said Clark.

The four-team tournament (hosts Russia are the fourth team) takes place from 24-28 June and will provide the team with much-needed international competition as they prepare for the Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana in July.

The team: Paul Blake, Brendon Botes, Gareth Carr, Miguel De Graca, Ian Hayley, Marvin Harper, Rhett Halkett, Tommy Hammond, Julian Hykes, Lance Louw, Lloyd Madsen, Lloyd Norris Jones, Rassie Pieterse, Wade Paton, Jonty Robinson, Justin Reid-Ross, Austin Smith (Capt), Lungile Tsolekile.
Management: Anton van Rooyen (manager), Gregg Clark (coach), David Viney (asst. coach), Moabi Malebye (video/Stats), Marinda Symons (physiotherapist)


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