Women's team confirm key date in World Cup prep

England Women

As a vital part of their preparation for London's Hockey World Cup in 2018, it has today been confirmed that the England women's team will play in the Hockey World League semi-final in South Africa in July.

The World League semi-final is a milestone on the road to the World Cup, with teams battling for the right to play in the world's biggest hockey tournament in London next summer. England have of course already qualified for the World Cup as hosts, but the World League is absolutely crucial to embed players into the squad and gain all-important momentum. Vital ranking points are of course also up for grabs, with England currently second in the world and looking to close the gap on leaders Holland.

The tournament will take place in Johannesburg between 8 and 23 July 2017, and also features Rio bronze medal winners Germany, as well as Champions Trophy holders Argentina, Pan American champions USA, African Hockey champions South Africa, plus Ireland, India, Chile, Japan and Poland. Our pool includes Germany, Ireland, Japan and Poland so there are some key tests in store.

The top teams in this tournament will go through to the Women's Hockey World League Final in Auckland later in the year, which offers further preparation and is likely to give us the opportunity to face further challenges against teams such as Holland, Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, Spain and Scotland.

This is a hugely exciting period for women's hockey in this country, with our upcoming fixture against Holland selling out in record time, and then 10,000 Women's Hockey World Cup tickets being sold in an hour when sales began in early April. Seats are still available - click here to find out how to secure your seat.

Women's team key dates 2017

June 11: England vs Holland, Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre, London
July 8-23: Hockey World League semi-final, Johannesburg
August 18-26: EuroHockey Championships, Amsterdam
November 17-26: Hockey World League final, Auckland

Key dates 2018
April 5-14: Commonwealth Games, Gold Coast
July 21 - Aug 5: Women's Hockey World Cup 2018, Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London