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New-look SA hockey side to tackle Argentina

A new-look 24-man South Africa men’s hockey team squad has been selected after a national training camp at the University of Johannesburg to play Argentina in a five-Test series that starts at Riverside Sports Club in Durban North next Wednesday, writes Jon Cook.

There are 14 new faces who weren’t in the side that won the Africa Cup of Nations (2014 World Cup Qualifier) tournament in Nairobi last month, as head coach Charlie Pereira and his brains trust look to explore the depth in the wider SA squad against the South American champions.

The squad contains brothers Wade and Taine Paton, right, who were part of the winning Africa Cup side.

Three Southern Gauteng players ÔÇô Dylan Coombes, Nic Spooner and Dean Symons ÔÇô as well as Jody Hosking of North West will wear the senior national colours for the first time while Matt Botha, Craig Haley, Clive Terwin (all Western Province), Miguel da Graca, Owen Mvimbi, Ricky West (all Southern Gauteng), Gowan Jones (KZN Coastal Raiders), Nick Gonsalves, Matt Guise-Brown (both Northern Blues) and Robin Jones (KZN Inland) return to the team.

Of the Africa Cup-winning side, Dylan Swanepoel (WP) and Mohamed Mea (KCR) ÔÇô who were captain and vice-captain of the SA U21 team in Friday’s meritorious 2-1 Pool D win over England in their Junior World Cup opener in Delhi ÔÇô as well as captain Austin Smith (WP),┬áClint Panther (SG), Julian Hykes (Border), Geoff Abbott (KCR) and Lloyd Norris-Jones (WP), all take a break. The SA U21 goals against England were scored by Andrew Manson of KZN Coastal Raiders and skipper Swanepoel.

The first SA/Argentina Test match is at 6pm on Wednesday at Riverside Sports Club in Durban North.

TEST SERIES: SA MEN vs ARGENTINA
1st Test -┬á11th December (Riverside 6.00pm); 2nd Test – 12th December (Kearsney 4.00pm); 3rd Test – 14th December (Queensmead 3.00pm); 4th Test – 15th December (Queensmead┬á3.00pm); 5th Test – 17th December (UKZN Pietermaritzburg 6.00pm).

SA TEAM
Matt Botha, Pierre de Voux, Craig Haley, Rhett Halkett (capt), Jacques le Roux, Clive Terwin (all Western Province); Dylan Coombes, Miguel da Graca, Jethro Eustice, Owen Mvimbi, Rassie Pieterse, Nic Spooner, Dean Symons, Ricky West (all Southern Gauteng); Tim Drummond, Gowan Jones, Wade Paton, Taine Paton (all KZN Coastal Raiders); Nick Gonsalves, Matt Guise-Brown, Frankie Pretorius, Jonty Robinson (all Northern Blues); Jody Hosking (North West); Robin Jones (KZN Inland). Head coach: Charlie Pereira.


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