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.
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)
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