Great Britain hockey name squad for FIH Pro League fixtures against Australia and New Zealand

GB Hockey Women are heading Down Under for their opening two matches (PA Images)
13:15pm, Wed 15 Jan 2020
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Great Britain's hockey head coach Mark Hager has selected his squad for the FIH Pro League fixtures against Australia and New Zealand next month. 

All 18 players who were part of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifiers' defeat against Chile last year have been named.

Grace Balsdon, Esme Burge and Ellie Rayer are all selected to feature, along with Sarah Jones who has returned to the squad after a period of illness. Emily Defroand and Amy Tennant have been left out due to injury. 

Hager said: "It’s a really exciting time. We’ve got good versatility in our squad. It’s exciting to be able to start and get underway."

"It will be an interesting concept playing the back-to-back games, which we had a little bit of experience of with the FIH Olympic Qualifier.

"This is an opportunity for us to start well with some good challenges – Australia played in the Grand Final last year and New Zealand have got a few players who have come back which will be interesting," he continued. 

Leading goalscorer Alex Danson-Bennett recently returned to training with the GB set-up 18 months after suffering a severe head injury. She has not been considered for the upcoming FIH fixtures. 

GB will face Australia on February 1-2 at the Sydney Olympic Park and New Zealand on February 8-9 at the North Harbour Hockey Stadium. 

GB Women squad:

Maddie Hinch (GK), Laura Unsworth, Anna Toman, Hannah Martin, Susannah Townsend, Sarah Robertson, Ellie Rayer, Tess Howard, Sarah Jones, Giselle Ansley, Hollie Pearne-Webb (C), Lizzie Neal, Shona McCallin, Sabbie Heesh, Lily Owsley, Jo Hunter, Esme Burge, Grace Balsdon, Amy Costello, Izzy Petter, Charlotte Watson, Leah Wilkinson.