England hockey squad include seven Olympic champions for South Africa series

Hollie Webb
Hollie Webb scored the decisive penalty as Britain beat the Netherlands to win Olympic gold in Rio

Head coach Danny Kerry has named seven Olympic champions in his England squad for the Test series in South Africa.

They play two Tests against the hosts on 25 and 26 February, before facing Germany on 1, 3 and 4 March in three unofficial practice matches.

There are 11 players who could make their England debuts in the squad.

Goalkeeper Maddie Hinch is unavailable because of commitments with Dutch club SCHC and is replaced by Amy Tennant.

Giselle Ansley, Joie Leigh, Shona McCallin, Lily Owsley, Laura Unsworth, Ellie Watton and Hollie Webb are the players included in the squad who won Olympic gold in Rio last summer.

England, who are ranked second in the world, play world number one side the Netherlands on 11 June at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park followed by the EuroHockey Championships and World League tournaments. The team is building towards the World Cup in London in 2018.

In January, Kerry announced a 33-woman squad to lead England and Great Britain into the next Olympic cycle. Captain Kate Richardson-Walsh has retired since Rio, while a number of other players have chosen to take a break from international hockey.

Kerry said: "We have laid some good early foundations in other parts of the programme and we now start the very first steps in building and experimenting with how we are going to play.

"The matches will see us put out brand new combinations and explore new ways of playing based around the strengths of the new squad."

Full squad: Giselle Ansley, Emily Defroand, Sarah Haycroft, Sabbie Heesh, Jo Hunter, Hannah Martin, Hollie Webb (Surbiton), Grace Balsdon (Canterbury), Susie Gilbert (Reading), Kathryn Lane (Leicester), Joie Leigh (Clifton Robinsons), Shona McCallin, Ellie Watton (Holcombe), Lily Owsley, Livy Paige, Erica Sanders, Anna Toman, (University of Birmingham), Suzy Petty (Wimbledon), Ellie Rayer (Loughborough Students), Zoe Shipperley (Buckingham), Amy Tennant (Grossflottbeker), Laura Unsworth (East Grinstead).

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