By The Hockey Paper
England women have been dealt a blow ahead of the Commonwealth Games after three Rio golden girls were ruled out from travelling to the Gold Coast.
England’s two attacking players Shona McCallin and Nicola White failed in their late bid to be fit ahead of Saturday’s departure to Australia.
McCallin suffered concussion during the recent tour to Argentina, while White, who has overcome an ankle injury, picked up concussion during a friendly game against Ireland last week.
Meanwhile, Lily Owsley’s omission was also only realised last week when she injured her hand during the friendly against Ireland.
Coach Danny Kerry said: “We are all incredibly sympathetic to Lily, Shona and Nic, it is a real bitter blow for them given the fantastic nature of the Commonwealth Games.”
4 years ago @JoHunter9 sat through some seriously wet weather as she cheered us on to a bronze. Delighted she now gets the opportunity to make memories that all her hard work and determination deserve out @GC2018 . pic.twitter.com/OMZWm0Q03b
— George Pinner (@GCP01) March 20, 2018
It means that England’s 16-strong squad will be supplemented by the additions of Emily Defroand and Jo Hunter, who both played in last summer’s EuroHockey bronze-winning side, and Suzy Petty, who has seven England caps.
Kerry added: “As always this presents an opportunity to other athletes, and we are obviously delighted to have Emily, Jo and Suzy available and we look forward to them taking the opportunity it presents to them.”
England begin their campaign against South Africa on April 5 before taking on Wales, India and Malaysia in pool A.
Both England squads depart for the Gold Coast on Saturday.
Meanwhile in international news, it has been reported that former Pakistan cricket skipper Shahid Afridi would pay for the medical treatment of Mansoor Ahmed, the former hockey goalkeeper.
Ahmed, the hero of Pakistan’s 1994 World Cup victory, has been suffering a heart ailment, with his heart functioning at a reported 20 per cent. He has been advised to travel abroad for an operation, with Afridi’s foundation paying for treatment.
OPRO has announced the renewal of its official partnership agreement with England and GB Hockey for another three years across the national set-up.
Update: This article was ammended to clarify Nicola White’s injury to concussion.