When Australia announced their intention to host a “Rest of the World” team with a male and female player from each of the other seven World Cup nations we were excited! We thought it would be amazing to see the best players from each nation competing together and see how they got on. We also thought it would be interesting to see how a team was picked that bought together all the right players to fill the 1,2 and 3 shirts on the pitch!
However, now the teams have actually been announced we are slightly disappointed as the teams aren’t really “Rest of the World” at all – they consist of seven South Africans, four New Zealanders, one Zambian, one American and one UK player (with one Irish man and one Zimbabwean man in reserve). However, we had already started an article based on our own thoughts as to who we would pick so we thought we would publish it anyway! So here it is, our “Rest of the World” teams!
Ireland – Top of our list would be the the only lady to play in all five world cups, Debbie Harris! She combines skill and strength and is dangerous in all three positions, though we might actually favour putting her as a number 2 quite a lot to maximise the impact of other players around her!
Zambia – This is a tough call as they had some of the best lady players in the world at the last couple of world cups. It is tempting to pick Lauren Watson and put her in the number 3 shirt but on balance (and as we have some other number 3’s) we would pick Kelly Krynauw. The Zambian number 1 is a goal scoring machine and has the ability to mix it with the best number 3’s in the world in the area. We would hand her one of the number 1 jerseys!
Zimbabwe – Our pick from Zimbabwe would be Sophie Sargeant. She was Zimbabwe’s best player at the last world cup in our eyes in the number 1 shirt but can play all three positions if she needs to. She is always exciting to watch, has brilliant stick and ball skills and her experience is unquestionable; she has represented the UK and Zimbabwe in four world cups.
New Zealand – We would go for Beth Peaker. She can also play all three positions but is probably best as a number 3. She is a tough competitor, a great horsewoman and did a brilliant job for New Zealand in the last world cup.
USA – Megan Waggener was brilliant for the USA in 2019, banging in goals from all angles and winning a lot of ball herself. We would put her in our rest of the world team and play her as a number one (though we are fairly sure she can play elsewhere as well).
United Kingdom – The UK have seen a lot of change in their ladies team since the last world cup. We are tempted to go with Rachael Duhig as she was absent from the UK 2019 World cup team and in our opinion that was a big miss for the UK. However, based on current form our pick would actually be Layla Sics who captained their Ladies team in the summer against South Africa. She can play all positions (though is probably best as a 3) and a fierce competitor so we think she can mix it with the Australians, despite having never played in a World Cup before.
South Africa – This is a tricky one as the whole South African ladies team seems to have changed since 2019. Lauren Heynes was very impressive in the summer but given the other players we have picked we think we might want a specialist number 3. We were very impressed by Olivia King in their summer test matches series against the UK so we have decided to put her on our team!
New Zealand – We would go for Beau Moore and put him straight in one of the number 3 shirts! The man was a machine in 2019, winning ball out the back and frustrating number 1’s in the area. If you want to beat Australia you are going to need to win ball out the back and we think with Beau we have a chance!
Zambia – This is a hard one! Do you go for the incredible reach of Mikey Krynauw or the slightly smaller Damien Harris? We would go for Damien Harris, he is incredible out the back and we think gives us the best chance of winning the ball!
Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe had a bit of a tough world cup in 2019 but Danie Swan is to us always a great player and a good fit for a number 1 or 2 shirt in particular so we would include him in our team to take on Australia!
Ireland – From the Emerald isle we would go for the power house that is Seb Chambers! He was hugely impressive for them in 2019, particularly when they beat New Zealand in the group stages. The man brings not only strength but also great skill and we can see us using him a number 3 or a number 2 against Australia.
USA – We would pick Braxton Hamlin and put him in one of our number 1 jerseys. He looked good for the USA in 2019 when he had the ball and with the other players we are picking it he should be getting plenty of it.
South Africa – this is a tough choice! They have some incredible players and it is very tempting just to play it safe and put in Jannie Steenkamp. However, the player who impressed us the most in the summer was Chad von Benecke so we think we would put him in the team and put him up the front. His line out speed and goal shooting is incredible.
United Kingdom – This is another tough call as they have some great young players coming through and we can make arguments for a number of them. However, overall we would probably go for Jack Brown. We think he is a great versatile player who can play all three positions and has some incredible stick skills, plus him being a sneaky left hander could come in very useful.
So there you go, those are our “Rest of the World” teams! Fee free to share yours on our Facebook page with us!