England’s women to play world champions in their Champions Trophy opener

England will face Champions Trophy title holders and world champions Argentina in their first game of the 2011 trophy on June 25 in Amsterdam.

In last year’s event England took bronze at home in Nottingham in what was a six-team competition. This year the tournament has been expanded to include eight teams. England are drawn in pool A with China and Korea and las Leonas.

In a restructured tournament,  the top two teams from each pool will go into a medal pool carrying forward the result against the qualifying team they have already played. The other sides go into a secondary pool for classification places, which will be played along the same lines. After two more round-robin games the top two sides in the medal pool will play a final – the sixth game in nine days for both teams.

Hosts the Netherlands, Germany, Australia and New Zealand have been drawn in pool B.

The Rabo Champions Trophy 2011 to be from June 25 – July 3 will be the 18th edition of the event. “There was a lot of talk about expanding this tournament to include eight teams,” said FIH competitions manager Martyn Gallivan. “When you look at the strength and depth of the women’s game at the moment, this was the right time to test the expansion waters.”

 The preliminary round group play will take place from June 25-28 over three competition days. China and Korea kick off the action with a 9am game on the June 25. The second round will commence on June 30 and will also run over a three-day period before the medal games are played on Sunday, July 3.

Argentina enters the event as the defending champion, with host Netherlands looking to improve on its 2010 silver medal finish. 

For a full schedule click here.