Hockey: Thompson given late Cup hope

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ROB THOMPSON received an unexpected chance to stake a claim for the last World Cup place when he was named in England's squad yesterday for a Four Nations' Tournament in Monchengladbach from 14 to 16 October. The Hounslow captain and striker replaces Don Williams who is serving a 16-day suspension after his sending-off for dissent in Sunday's National League game.

Cannock's captain, Kalbir Takher, is the only other player in the party for Germany not yet confirmed for the World Cup. After a series of impressive club performances, Takher has been brought into the squad and is also in contention.

The winger Chris Mayer, who had seven stitches in a hand injury following Sunday's League game, expects to be fit, but there doubts about the goalkeeper, David Luckes, who has yet to play a National League game this season.

Jason Laslett, England's captain in their gold medal triumph last month in the Sultan Azlan Shah tournament in Penang, has asked to be relieved of the captaincy which goes to Jon Potter, England's most experienced player with a total of 221 appearances.

ENGLAND SQUAD (for Four Nations' Tournament in Monchengladbach, 14 to 16 October): J Potter (capt), R Thompson, S Hazlitt, B Crutchley (all Hounslow), D Luckes (East Grinstead), S Mason (Firebrands), P McGuire, S Nicklin, J Laslett (all Teddington), J Shaw, Soma Singh (both Southgate), C Mayer, K Takher (both Cannock), N Thompson, J Halls (both Old Loughtonians), R Garcia (Polo Barcelona).