England leave out specialists

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The Independent Online
England will go into next month's six-match Test series in Australia without a penalty-corner specialist and, as a result, look likely to repeat the goal famine that saw them finish a disappointing sixth place in last December's World Cup in Sydney.

There was no place in the squad, announced yesterday, for either Havant's Calum Giles, who successfully performed the role in New Delhi in February, or the National League's top scorer, Guildford's Ian Jennings.

The manager, David Whittle, admitted that there had been much discussion about including a specialist but the management have opted to use Bobby Crutchley, currently leading scorer in the Australian League for Canberra Lakers, and Phil McGuire for the crucial role in Australia.

Whittle added: "That is not to say that we will not experiment in the other nine planned internationals during the summer before we depart to Dublin for the European Cup."

With the non-availability of Jon Potter, who got married last Friday, Jason Laslett and Russell Garcia, together with the absence of any Under- 21 players preparing for their European Qualifier, the squad has a tired look.

The one bright spot is the return of 22-year-old Rowan Davis, who is currently playing in Spain. Impressive at the Champions' Trophy in Lahore a year ago, Davis then lost form and failed to gain World Cup selection.

ENGLAND SQUAD (for Test series v Australia): S Mason (Firebrands), J Lee, D Luckes (both East Grinstead), P McGuire (Teddington), J Halls (Old Loughtonians), Soma Singh, J Shaw (Southgate), D Williams (Havant), S Hazlitt, B Crutchley (Hounslow), Kalbir Takher, B Sharpe, C Mayer (Cannock), A Humphrey (Hull), M Sutton (Bourneville), R Davis (Polo Barcelona).

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