The Hockeyroos have landed in London ahead of the 2018 FIH Women’s World Cup to be played from 21 July to 5 August.
Australia finished runners-up at the last World Cup in 2014, losing 2-0 in the final to the Netherlands in The Hague.
The Dutch remain the team to beat four years on with England (second) and Argentina (third) at the top of the rankings too, while the Hockeyroos have experienced major personnel and style changes and are now fifth in the world.
Despite that coach Paul Gaudoin is bullish about the side’s prospects having taken over in late 2016 following the Rio Olympics disappointment.
Australia are grouped with New Zealand (fourth), Belgium (13th) and Japan (12th) in Pool D.
The Black Sticks defeated the Hockeyroos for Commonwealth Games gold in April but Australia hit back by winning the Tri Nations in May, involving both New Zealand and Japan in a positive sign.
The Hockeyroos will touch down in London on Thursday and will play practice games against India on Monday (6pm local time) and Great Britain on Wednesday (2:30pm local time) at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.
“We want to get a good feel for the turf and the atmosphere,” Gaudoin said, speaking about the value of the practice games.
“The World Cup is a unique experience. It’s going to be a great opportunity.
“Those first few games are about getting used to playing in that environment.
“We also get to play against an Asian team in India and there’s some similarities in New Zealand and even Belgium in the way they play.
“As well we play Great Britain with a European feel so we’ll be prepared if we meet those teams we’ll have some experience against them.”
Australia’s first World Cup match is against Japan on Sunday 22 July from 5am AEST live on FOX SPORTS.
All of the Hockeyroos’ World Cup matches will be televised live on FOX SPORTS.
Australia’s Women’s Hockey World Cup team:
Athlete (Hometown, State)
Jocelyn Bartram (Albury, NSW)
Kristina Bates (Port Melbourne, VIC)
Edwina Bone (Orange, NSW) *Plays for ACT
Kalindi Commerford (Mollymook, NSW) *Plays for ACT
Madison Fitzpatrick (Cabarita Beach, NSW) *Plays for QLD
Emily Hurtz (Sydney, NSW) *Plays for VIC
Jodie Kenny (Wamuran, QLD)
Stephanie Kershaw (Townsville, QLD)
Rachael Lynch (Warrandyte, VIC)
Ambrosia Malone (Burleigh, QLD)
Karri McMahon (Berri, SA)
Georgina Morgan (Armidale, NSW)
Kaitlin Nobbs (Newington, NSW)
Brooke Peris (Darwin, NT)
Kathryn Slattery (South Stirling, WA)
Emily Smith (Crookwell, NSW)
Grace Stewart (Gerringong, NSW)
Renee Taylor (Everton Park, QLD)
Australia’s Women’s Hockey World Cup Schedule (all times AEST):
Sunday 22 July 5am - Australia v Japan
Tuesday 24 July 11pm - Australia v Belgium
Sunday 29 July 5am - Australia v New Zealand
Monday/Tuesday 30/31 July TBC - Playoffs
Wednesday/Thursday 1/2 August TBC - Quarter-finals
Saturday 4 August TBC - Semi-finals
Sunday/Monday 5/6 August 11pm/1:30am - Bronze medal/Gold medal match