Kookaburras set to Depart for World Cup Defence

Hockey | Published: Fri 23 November 2018

The world number one Kookaburras will fly out for India today as they attempt to win a third straight World Cup title in the event to played in Bhubaneswar from November 28 to December 16.


Australia are one of the favourites for the title, having won the Champions Trophy, Commonwealth Games, Oceania Cup and World League Final titles over the past 18 months.


The Kookaburras, who are also 2010 and 2014 World Cup champions, are grouped with Ireland (ranked 10th), England (seventh) and China (17th) in Pool B. 


Australia’s first game is against on Ireland on Friday 30 November from 10:30pm AEDT.


Tasmanian defender Josh Beltz and WA forward Tom Wickham will travel with the team as shadow players, in the case of injury. 


Kookaburras coach Colin Batch said the side wasn’t feeling the pressure as reigning back-to-back champions and naturally wanted to do well but were only focused on the pool stage.


"It’s always difficult,” Batch said.


"We want to do well in the tournament. Everyone wants to win. We’re no different.


"But there’s a lot of work to do before we think about claiming this title.


"Our first game is against Ireland. We’re not thinking too much further in advance of there.


"There’s a number of players who we need to get our playing level up and to provide good scouting of the teams we’ll play against.”


The Kookaburras will arrive in Bhubaneswar on Saturday morning, following a solid three-week block of training.


"Just before you leave there’s always lots of things to do, not just hockey things,” Batch said.


"We’ve got a number of players finishing exams. People rushing around getting themselves organised. It hasn’t been quite settled but the training has been really good. 


"The guys are really looking forward to going away to India. Our preparation has been good. 


"We want that to continue. We know we’ve got a week or so in India before we actually play.


"We’ve still got quite bit to get across and improve. We’ll be ready for our first game against Ireland.”


All matches will be televised LIVE on FOX SPORTS.



Kookaburras’ 18-member team for the World Cup:


Athlete (City, State)


Daniel Beale (Brisbane, QLD)


Timothy Brand (Chatswood, NSW)


Andrew Charter (Canberra, ACT)


Tom Craig (Lane Cove, NSW)


Matthew Dawson (Killarney Vale, NSW)


Blake Govers (Wollongong, NSW)


Jake Harvie (Dardanup, WA)


Jeremy Hayward (Darwin, NT)


Tim Howard (Wakerley, QLD)


Tyler Lovell (Perth, WA)


Trent Mitton (Perth, WA)


Eddie Ockenden (Hobart, TAS)


Flynn Ogilvie (Wollongong, NSW)


Matthew Swann (Mackay, QLD)


Corey Weyer (Biggera Waters, QLD)


Jake Whetton (Brisbane, QLD)


Dylan Wotherspoon (Murwillumbah, NSW) *Plays for QLD


Aran Zalewski (Margaret River, WA)



Kookaburras’ 2018 World Cup schedule (all times AEDT):


Friday 30 November 10:30pm – Australia v Ireland


Wednesday 5 December 12:30am – Australia v England


Friday 7 December 10:30pm – Australia v China


Monday 10 December – Crossovers


Wednesday 12 December – Quarter-Finals


Saturday 15 December – Semi-Finals


Sunday 16 December – Finals