THE Hockeyroos, featuring Gerringong’s Grace Stewart and Mollymook’s Kalindi Commerford, will compete at the 2018 FIH Champions Trophy in November after accepting an invitation following the side’s rise up to third on the FIH Hero World Rankings earlier this month.
Australia’s run to the 2018 Women’s World Cup semi-finals and eventual fourth-place finish in London saw the Hockeyroos rise up the FIH Hero World Rankings from fifth spot to third spot.
The 2018 Champions Trophy, which will be played in Changzhou, China, from 17-25 November, features the top-ranked teams in the world competing in a round robin format.
This year’s edition represents the last-ever Champions Trophy ahead of the introduction of the new FIH Pro League in 2019, which is a nine-nation home-and-away round robin competition.
Australia will compete against 2018 World Cup winners the Netherlands (ranked first), 2016 Olympic gold medallists (as Great Britain) England (second), reigning Champions Trophy winners Argentina (fourth), hosts China (11th) and 2020 Olympic hosts Japan (14th) at November’s event.
Hockey Australia high performance director Toni Cumpston said the Hockeyroos’ invitation was a significant coup for the side as they plan towards the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“It’s an exciting opportunity and we’re delighted to receive the invitation for the final Champions Trophy,” Cumpston said.
“The invitation is recognition for our emerging side’s performance at the 2018 Women’s World Cup.
“We’re looking forward to playing against the elite national teams in the world as we commence our journey towards Tokyo.”
The Hockeyroos have a proud history in the Champions Trophy, as six-time winners and five-time runners-up.
The last time the Hockeyroos won the Champions Trophy was in 2003. Australia finished fourth at the 2016 Champions Trophy and were runners-up in 2014.
All Hockeyroos matches at the 2018 Champions Trophy will be broadcast live in Australia by FOX SPORTS.
The Champions Trophy will be preceded by a series in Changzhou, China, where the under 23 Australian development women’s team will compete with the hosts, Chinese national champions Jiangsu, Great Britain and Germany.