Eight debutants in opening win against South Africa

England team vs South Africa

In their first competitive fixture of the Tokyo cycle, Danny Kerry's team began with a pleasing 4-2 win in South Africa.

With a number of debutants, the game was certainly a training exercise; the squad's first game at international level more than six months since the Olympics.

Although there were six goals, only one came in the first half as the hosts went into the interval a goal to the good following a strike in the second quarter.

In the second half there was plenty of goalmouth action though, with Sarah Haycroft getting England back level, only for the hosts to go back ahead.

However England then took control, with Joie Leigh making it 2-2 as the third quarter drew to a close. Into the final period, a penalty stroke from Ellie Watton and a debut goal from Grace Balsdon sealed victory.

While the win was of course pleasing, debuts for Sabbie Heesh, Amy Tennant, Emily Defroand, Grace Balsdon, Anna Toman, Suzy Petty, Hannah Martin and Erica Sanders were of much greater significance.

And Sunday afternoon will see more of the same as Kerry's side again face South Africa, beginning at 2pm UK time.

Starting XI: 23 Amy Tennant (GK), 6 Anna Toman, 10 Susie Gilbert, 13 Erica Sanders, 16 Emily Defroand, 18 Giselle Ansley, 20 Hollie Webb, 21 Ellie Watton, 26 Lily Owsley, 27 Jo Hunter, 31 Grace Balsdon

Subs (all used): 26 Sabbie Heesh (GK), 2 Zoe Shipperley, 4 Laura Unsworth, 5 Sarah Haycroft, 7 Hannah Martin, 11 Suzy Petty, 14 Joie Leigh