Olympic medallists will test England

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The Independent Online

England begin their campaign for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup here this evening with a match against the Olympic silver medallists, South Korea.

The national side are in good spirits, despite the last-minute absence of their assistant coach, Dave Buynan. "The absence of Dave means that the players have had to accept additional responsibilities which they have done enthusiastically," the England chief coach, Malcolm Wood, said last night.

As to his ambitions for the tournament, he added: "It is performance we want, not results. We are still experimenting with players and tactics. This is a splendid opportunity to give the newer players the chance to experience the venue of next February's World Cup and to soak up the atmosphere. I do not see our World Cup preparations really starting until November's Champions Trophy event in Lahore."

Wood expects to be able to select from a full squad, but there is some doubt over the striker, Danny Hall, who turned an ankle in a training game.

England take on Malaysia tomorrow and Australia, coached by the former England and Great Britain Olympic coach, Barry Dancer, on Sunday. England complete the round-robin part of the tournament with games against Pakistan, India and Germany before the play-offs on Sunday week.

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