The reigning world champions Australia have become the first country to name their world cup squad for the World Cup in the UK in 2011. The team which will try and defend their crown is Jodi Tiver (WA), Sandra Weston (NSW), Alison Mathie (NSW), Suzette Thomas (WA), Cameron Shepherd (QLD), Will Weston (NSW), Robert Sibley (WA) and Lance Anderson (NSW).
No one from outside the big three states, New South Wales (NSW), Western Australia (WA) and Queensland (QLD), features in the squad and it is mainly dominated by the two states which were dominant at the Australia Nationals in March, NSW and WA. QLD have just one representative in Cameron Shepherd, who also represented Australia at the Quadrangular series in 2010. He actually came into that quadrangular squad as a late replacement after Robert Sibley had to pull out due to the tragic death of his two best horses but now Sibley has also returned to the squad.
Perhaps the biggest shock is the fact there is no place in the squad for Lance’s brother Chris who was one of the best number 3’s at the Australian Nationals along with Will Weston. In the men’s section Australia have opted for 3 number 1’s and only one specialist number 3 in Will Weston, while in the ladies they seemed to have done the opposite.
So with Australia having declared their team now all that is left to do is to see if it is yet another world beating squad. It isn’t that different to the team who won the Quadrangular, with the perhaps the biggest difference being the absence of Chris Anderson, so if the other top countries in the world haven’t improved since then then Australia could probably be looking at their third straight World Cup victory.