Phil Collier, National Team Director, has released details of the England squad selected to tour Australia in June 2016 as part of the preparations for next year’s World Championship.
A ‘young and dynamic’ squad will contest a tough three-Test series against Australia and play in their state championships during a two-week tour designed to enhance team development and cohesion while testing players at high competitive levels.
“There is a great tradition of sporting rivalry between England and Australia. Most encounters bring out the best in both teams, often leading to exciting, close fought contests and some outstanding performances,” said Coach Collier. Just look at the games between England and Australia at the recent U19 World Cup.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for us to play some tough, top level lacrosse and create some lifetime memories. We want to be competitive in all of our games, and we will be looking to win the series against Australia.
“But we also see the trip as a significant team learning opportunity. As we continue to prepare our team for the 2017 World Cup, this tour will be pivotal in helping with our team development, both on and off the field. We will be able to assess which players can handle the pressure of competing at the top level, as well as testing out our new playing strategies.”
“Since starting my role as Team Director in April 2014, I have been working to establish a dynamic Performance Squad of around 26 players with all capable of playing for England, comfortable in their role within the team playing strategy,” added Coach Collier. “This approach will give us competition for places, cover in each position, and different options depending on individual players strengths and styles.
The England touring squad – 3 goalkeepers, 8 defenders, 11 midfielders and 7 attackers – will play in the Australian State Championships in Melbourne before taking on the national team in a three match series.
“More than half of the squad is aged 23 or under. We have 13 players who have played for England at a previous senior world cup, and 3 players who have been selected to the FIL World Team at a senior or U19 world cup. We think this is a very strong England Squad, with a great balance of youth and experience.”
The experienced Laura Merrifield and Ash Gloster have been named as team captains, continuing in the roles they carried out so well at last summer’s European Championships.
“The total squad size of 29 players is perhaps two or three more than you would normally take on a tour of this kind. The reason for this is that we had several new players join the Performance Squad in September 2015, and the coaches want to see more of them in action, and how they operate within the team environment during the tour. However, with 8 games in 10 days, we are pretty sure we will need to use the full squad, giving us fresh legs and different tactical options for each game.”
England leave for Australia on May 30. The three-match Test series will played from June 9 to June 11.
Team England Australia Tour Squad
Head Coach: Phil Collier
Coach: Katelyn Hoffman
Manager: Lara Owen
Physio: Emma Dunphy
S&C Coach: James Wild