The draw for the Quadrangular Polocrosse Tournament, taking place between Australia, the UK, South Africa and New Zealand at the Bong Bong racecourse in New South Wales from the 16th of April, has been announced. The defending world champions, Australia, will start the campaign with a match against their local rivals New Zealand and then the UK play South Africa.
The full draw is as follows:
Thursday 16th 11am – Australia vs New Zealand
Thursday 16th 2pm – United Kingdom vs South Africa
Friday 17th 11am – New Zealand vs South Africa
Friday 17th 2pm – Australia vs United Kingdom
Saturday 18th 11am – Australia vs South Africa
Saturday 18th 2pm – United Kingdom vs New Zealand
Sunday 19th 11am – Final 3rd vs 4th (Division 2)
Sunday 19th 2pm – Final 1st vs 2nd (Division 1)
Three of the teams competing have been forced to make changes to their desired line ups in the run up to the tournament. The hosts Australia have replaced Robbie Sibley with Cameron Sheppard in their mens section.
The UK have had to make two changes; in the ladies section Beth Peaker has been replaced with Charlotte Pykett and the men’s reserve, Hamish Michael, has been replaced with Daniel Duhig. They also go to the tournament without a reserve lady player after their reserve player Lucy Shell withdrew from the squad. Beth Peaker withdrew after she decided that her future lay in New Zealand with her boyfriend, New Zealand star Shane Hill, and so withdrew to try and get in the New Zealand team. Both Lucy and Hamish are believed to have withdrawn due to the cost of travelling to the tournament. The UK squad do face the longest trip and the highest flight costs and with little sponsorship of polocrosse available in the UK the squad have been forced to cover nearly all the costs of the tournament themselves.
In a massive blow to South African hopes, Charl Du Plessis has had to be replaced by Steven Kane. Charl Du Plessis was the South African’s top number 1 at the 2007 World Cup, with the ability to throw goals from all angles and with amazing hand-eye coordination.