Hockey World Cup: Lily Owsley returns as eight Olympic champions included in squad

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Having a home World Cup is 'very special' - England captain Alex Danson

Eight Rio Olympic gold medallists have been named in England's squad for next month's Hockey World Cup in London.

Among those, forward Lily Owsley returns after missing England's bronze medal-winning Commonwealth Games campaign with a broken hand.

Captain Alex Danson will be competing at her fifth World Cup.

England open their campaign against India on 21 July and will also face Ireland and USA in the group stages of the 16-team event.

Olympic champions Giselle Ansley, Sophie Bray, Maddie Hinch, Hollie Pearne-Webb, Susannah Townsend and Laura Unsworth are also included in Danny Kerry's 18-strong squad.

However, fellow Rio gold medallists Shona McCallin and Nicola White remain absent after both suffering concussions before the Commonwealth Games.

Danson is one goal away from equalling Marjorie Pollard's combined England and GB goal scoring record, which stands at 115 goals.

England, who are ranked second in the world, finished 11th at the last World Cup, which took place four years ago in the Netherlands.

England squad: Giselle Ansley, Grace Balsdon, Sophie Bray, Alex Danson, Sarah Haycroft, Maddie Hinch, Kathryn Lane, Hannah Martin, Lily Owsley, Hollie Pearne-Webb, Suzy Petty, Jo Pinner, Ellie Rayer, Amy Tennant, Anna Toman, Susannah Townsend, Laura Unsworth, Ellie Watton

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