The Kookaburras have been forced to make two changes to the team to play at the Odisha Men’s Hockey World League Final 2017 in Bhubaneswar, India due to injuries.
Sydney brothers Ben Craig (finger) and Tom Craig (hamstring) have been ruled out, replaced in the 18-member team by young duo Lachlan Sharp and Jake Harvie.
NSW Waratahs 20-year-old attacking midfielder Sharp, who hails from Lithgow, is uncapped at senior level but represented Australia at last year’s Junior World Cup.
Teenage defender Harvie, who hails from WA’s South-West, debuted for Australia against New Zealand in Bendigo earlier this month and earned six caps during the International Festival of Hockey.
Kookaburras head coach Colin Batch said: “It’s disappointing for Ben and Tom to miss out as both had been building towards the World League Final, but it represents a great opportunity for Lachlan and Jake.
“Ben has a fracture in his finger and while he won’t need surgery, he’s been ruled out. Tom is still experiencing some soreness from a hamstring injury, so he needs to focus on his rehabilitation to be fully fit for next year.
“Lachlan has been on our radar for a while having impressed during the National Development Squad’s European tour earlier this year and last year’s Junior World Cup. Jake’s selection builds on his recent performances where he impressed at the International Festival of Hockey.
“We feel both can handle this opportunity and we’re excited to give them this chance.”
The Kookaburras will depart for the World League Final on Saturday, with the side’s first game against India on December 1.
Australia are grouped against India, Germany and England in Pool B.
The tournaments runs from December 1-10 and will be televised on Fox Sports, with all Kookaburras’ games live.
Kookaburras team for World League Final:
Athlete (City, State)
Daniel Beale (Brisbane, QLD)
Tristan Clemons (Bunbury, WA)
Matthew Dawson (Killarney Vale, NSW)
Jeremy Edwards (Hobart, TAS)
Blake Govers (Wollongong, NSW)
Jeremy Hayward (Darwin, NT)
Jake Harvie (Dardanup, WA)
Aaron Kleinschmidt (Melbourne, VIC)
Mark Knowles (Rockhampton, QLD)
Tyler Lovell (Perth, WA)
Edward Ockenden (Hobart, TAS)
Lachlan Sharp (Lithgow, NSW)
Matthew Swann (Mackay, QLD)
Jacob Whetton (Brisbane, QLD)
Tristan White (Wollongong, NSW)
Tom Wickham (Morgan, SA) *Plays for WA
Dylan Wotherspoon (Murwillumbah, NSW) *Plays for QLD
Aran Zalewski (Margaret River, WA)
Source: Hockey Australia Media Release