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British hockey team in South Africa


London : With less than two months to go for the crucial Olympic qualifiers, Britain’s hockey team is in South Africa for warm weather training and to play in a tri-nation tournament with the hosts and Canada.

The squad will train in Potchefstroom from Saturday before moving to Durban for the tri-nation tournament.

Of the 24 players selected for the Olympic qualifiers training last September, 22 are in South Africa. The qualifiers are scheduled in March.

Scott Cordon has pulled out of the tour as he is recovering from hernia surgery and Michael Christie has withdrawn from training.

Nick Catlin has joined the squad as head coach Jason Lee feels he is “one of Britain’s up and coming players” and thinks “the experience will be excellent for him”.

Lee said: “The trip is very important in our build-up to the Olympic qualifiers in Chile. The weather is hot, like we are expecting in Chile, the training facilities are excellent and we are also lucky to be getting four international games at the end of the trip.”

The squad:

Richard Alexander, Jon Bleby, Nick Catlin, Jonty Clarke, Matt Daly, Stephen Dick, James Fair, Brett Garrard, Ben Hawes, Ashley Jackson, Glenn Kirkham, Richard Mantell, Simon Mantell, Ben Marsden, George Pinner (GK), James Tindall, Alastair Wilson, Barry Middleton, Rob Moore (all-England) Alistair McGregor (GK), Graham Moodie, Mark Ralph, Niall Stott (all Scotland).