Knowles back to lead Kookas in World League Final
HOCKEY: Rockhampton's Mark Knowles will captain the Kookaburras in next month's Men's FIH World League Final in Bhubaneswar, India.
World number two Australia are grouped against India (world number six), Germany (five) and England (seven) in Pool B of the eight-nation tournament which runs from December 1-10.
Knowles returns after being one of a number of experienced players rested for this month's International Festival of Hockey with a view to them being in prime condition for the Indian tournament.
Kookaburras head coach Colin Batch said the World League Final was an opportunity to learn how players handled the pressure that an eight-team tournament brought.
It will be Australia's final event of 2017 ahead of a big year where they will compete at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and 2018 World Cup. Argentina (one), Belgium (three), the Netherlands (four) and Spain (nine) are in Pool A at the World League Final.
"This is a good opportunity to play against European teams and to test where we're at after a lot of changes this year in the squad,” Batch said.
Speaking about Australia's ambition at the World League Final, Batch added: "It's no different to any other tournament where we go to perform to our best.
"We're also assessing players in their capacity to play against the other top nations in the world.
"We always go out there to win every game we play, so nothing changes.”
The Kookaburras fly out for India on November 25.