Hockey Australia replaces injured White…

Hockey Australia replaces injured White with Zalewski in Olympic squad

Perth, July 14 (IANS) Midfielder Aran Zalewski on Thursday replaced Tristan White in the Australian men’s Olympic hockey squad for the Rio Games after scans showed the latter has injured his posterior crucial element ligament.

Apart from the replacement, Hockey Australia also named the three travelling reserves for the Games starting on August 5.

Jeremy Hayward, Tom Craig and Tyler Lovell will be the reserves. In the event of a tournament-ending injury during the Olympics, an athlete can be replaced by one of these three.

Prior to the Games, injured athletes can be replaced by anyone in the Olympic training squad.

Reigning world champions Australia had named their 16-men squad on June 29. They named six players with no previous Olympic experience.

World Player of the Year in 2014 Mark Knowles will lead the side in Brazil, backed by an extremely powerful leadership group. The side will capitalise on the experience of central defender Knowles and fellow triple Olympian Jamie Dwyer, as well as dual bronze medallists Eddie Ockenden and Fergus Kavanagh who will line up for their third Games.

In the last two years, Australia has captured every major title in world hockey — 2014 World Cup, 2015 Hockey World League (HWL) and 2016 Champions Trophy.

When the competition begins on August 6, the Aussies will face trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand in the preliminary round as well as Britain, Belgium, Spain and the hosts, Brazil.