Hockey: Unhappy Hill opts out of Britain squad: Havant defender prefers rugby

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The Independent Online
ROB HILL, Havant's England defender and penalty corner specialist, will not be available for today's PizzaExpress National League match at Bromley or for

tomorrow's fourth-round Cup match against Stourport. Instead, the 26-year-old farmer, who has made 79 appearances for England and Great Britain, will be playing club rugby.

Hill, whose form has been disappointing this season and who has not been enjoying his hockey, has made himself unavailable and will decide on his future involvement in the New Year. He has also withdrawn from the Great Britain squads for the Four Nations Tournament in Barcelona next month and for the Champions Trophy in Lahore in March. A replacement will be named early next week.

Havant's coach Chris Pickett said yesterday: 'Rob has been under domestic and work pressures. It is a shame for someone with so much ability to be considering leaving the game but if you are not enjoying an amateur sport perhaps it is better to give it up.'

England's manager, David Whittle, is hopeful that Hill, along with Jon Potter and Sean Rowlands who have also made themselves unavailable for the two GB trips, will be available for consideration for England's World Cup squad later next year.

Indian Gymkhana, away in the League to Trojans, travel to Southampton without Davinder Rehncy - suspended by the club for 60 days following his dismissal for ungentlemanly conduct in last Sunday's game against Reading. The three players who received temporary suspensions in the same game have been fined by the club but will play.

The prompt action taken by Gymkhana may not be enough to satisfy the League Management Committee. They meet on Tuesday to consider the match delegate and umpires' reports, particularly as, following trouble in the Stourport v Gymkhana game in January 1992, the club were fined and warned as to their future behaviour by the Hockey Association.