Hockey: England hit by injury

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The Independent Online
ENGLAND'S preparations for the Four Nations tournament which starts here this evening, have been troubled by injury problems that might have been worse - the defender, Julian Halls, was in the stand that collapsed at the start of the Pink Floyd concert at Earl's Court. Fortunately, Halls was not injured, writes Bill Colwill from Munchengladbach.

Missing is the key midfielder, Jason Laslett, who twisted an ankle in Teddington's league game last Sunday, and the suspended winger, Don Williams. Andy Humphrey and Rob Thompson are late replacements. Several other players are nursing minor knocks.

Jon Potter, England's recently appointed captain, was enthusiastic about England's World Cup prospects. 'I am pleased to have the added responsibility and, after our performance in Malaysia, I feel very optimistic,' he said. 'We are at last putting things together.'

Potter added: 'This weekend is going to be very tough. We are in a difficult period. Just a few weeks off the World Cup, players are tired after extensive fitness training and all teams will be experimenting. I will be very happy with four points from the three games.'

ENGLAND SQUAD: J Potter (capt), R Thompson, B Crutchley, S Lazlett (all Hounslow), C Mayer, K Takher (Cannock), A Humphrey (Hull), P McGuire, S Nicklin (Teddington), J Shaw, Soma Singh (Southgate), N Thompson, J Halls (Old Loughtonians), D Luckes (East Grinstead), S Mason (Firebrands), R Garcia (Polo Barcelona).