England name Commonwealth Games women’s hockey squad
Last Updated: 15/03/18 5:22pm
Eight Olympic champions have been included in England’s 16-strong women’s hockey squad for the Commonwealth Games in April.
Alex Danson will captain the side, which includes a strong contingent of the Great Britain squad that secured a historic first Olympic gold medal in at the 2016 Olympics, as they bid to improve on the silver medal they won four years ago in Glasgow.
Two more athletes will be named in the squad after further fitness tests with these selections to be announced at a later date.
England, under the tutelage of experienced head coach Danny Kerry, will face South Africa, Wales, India and Malaysia in the pool phase before the top two sides from each group progress to the semi-finals ahead of the women's final on April 14.
Danson, set for her fourth outing at a Commonwealth Games, will be joined by six first-time players at the tournament - which runs from April 4 - 15.
Grace Balsdon, Kathryn Lane, Hannah Martin, Ellie Rayer, Amy Tennant and Anna Toman will all make their Commonwealth Games debuts.
Australia, who defeated England in the 2014 final, will defend their title on home soil at the Gold Coast Hockey Centre.
England women's hockey squad: Giselle Ansley (Surbiton), Grace Balsdon (Canterbury), Sophie Bray (Kampong), Alex Danson (Clifton Robinson), Sarah Haycroft (Surbiton), Maddie Hinch (Stichtse), Kathryn Lane (Leicester), Hannah Martin (Surbiton), Lily Owsley (Uni of Birmingham), Hollie Pearne-Webb (Surbiton), Ellie Rayer (East Grinstead), Amy Tennant (East Grinstead), Anna Toman (Wimbledon), Susannah Townsend (Canterbury), Laura Unsworth (East Grinstead), Ellie Watton (Holcombe).