England hockey squad for South Africa includes six Olympians and nine new caps

Sam Ward
Sam Ward has scored seven goals in 14 appearances for England.

Head coach Bobby Crutchley has named six Olympians in his England squad for the four-Test series in South Africa in March.

England play the hosts and Germany twice each, in preparation for June's World League Semi-Final in London.

Rio Olympian Sam Ward could win his 50th international cap and Chris Griffiths returns from injury.

The 21-strong group also includes nine uncapped players, with places for U21s stars Jack Turner and Peter Scott.

Captain Barry Middleton, Adam Dixon and Mark Gleghorne will be rested after competing in the Hockey India League while Harry Martin is unavailable because of club commitments with Rotterdam.

Crutchley said: "The trip is a great opportunity to expose the new squad to international matches early in the cycle.

"With matches against Germany and South Africa it provides an ideal opportunity to start our preparations for the World League Semi-Final and Europeans later in the year."

Full squad: James Albery, Ollie Willars (Beeston), David Ames, George Pinner, Sam Ward (Holcombe), Liam Ansell, Brendan Creed, Harry Gibson, David Goodfield, (Surbiton), Tom Carson (Reading), Chris Griffiths (East Grinstead), Jonty Griffiths, Ed Horler, Luke Taylor (Loughborough Students), Mikey Hoare, Phil Roper, Ian Sloan, Henry Weir (Wimbledon), Liam Sanford (Team Bath Buccaneers and RAF), Peter Scott (Team Bath Buccaneers), Jack Turner (University of Durham).

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