Both New Zealand and the USA have named their squads for the 2011 Polocrosse World Cup, due to be held in July in the United Kingdom. That means of the 8 countries competing so far 3 of the countries have declared their squads, from which their final teams of 8 players will be picked. Australia declared their 16 person squad a few weeks ago and now New Zealand have named a 14 person squad and the USA a 15 person squad.
The UK and Ireland are expected to name their squads in September this year after their playing seasons end (and after they play each other in a test match series in July in the UK). The remaining three countries who are playing in the World Cup are the African countries, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia and there is no official news on their squads yet (Editor’s note: if anyone does know them please let us know on firstname.lastname@example.org).
The New Zealand squad consists of 8 women and 6 men and the USA squad 8 men and 7 women. Of the New Zealand squad, 2 of the ladies and 3 of the men have previous World Cup experience. Sue Gower represented New Zealand in the last 2 World Cups and Tara Power represented Ireland in the 2007 World Cup. For the New Zealand Men Shane Hill, Dean Gower and Tony Schraft have all represented New Zealand in previous World Cups. In the USA side only one of the ladies survives from the last World Cup team and that is Erin Smoyer, the USA men are more experienced with previous World Cup Captain Rob Shuttles in the squad, he, along with Ryan Murphy, has played in both the last two World Cups. Ryan Strider was also in the 2007 team.
However, also in both squads there are also players who have a great deal of experience of playing in the UK conditions and on UK horses, which might just help them get into the final World Cup teams.
In the NZ Ladies squad, there is Beth Peaker, who represented the UK at Under 21 level and was picked for the UK for the 2008 Quadrangular tournament before she moved to New Zealand, and Jemma Murray, who played for the UK ladies side and played in the UK for numerous years. Also Olivia Gloyn has also spent some time playing in the UK. In the NZ men’s team Jesse Kereopa, Shane Hill and Regan Gloyn have all played seasons over in the UK. Jesse for Pennine, Shane for the Northern Lion Crusaders and Regan for Liscombe.
The USA do not have the same wealth of experience but Rachael Gayler played in the UK for Arden in 2009 and is rumoured to be coming back to play for Cotswolds this year and presently Sam Pohl is in the UK playing for Highlanders.
The USA do, however, have one final person in their squad with a great deal of World Cup experience and that is their coach, the two time World Cup winner Jane Cooper of Australia.