Durham University students play hockey on the highest stage

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As the Women’s DU Hockey firsts languish in fifth place in the Northern A division, and their male counterparts third in their Northern A division, we can still look to some Durham University students who are making their mark in the full senior Great Britain hockey squads.

Current students Tess Howard (University College) and recent graduates Jack Waller (Hild Bede) and Rhys Smith (St. Mary’s) are all listed members of Great Britain’s FIH Pro League squads.

The men’s campaign saw a dominant start achieving a 6-2 win against the New Zealand side.

The start of January saw the beginning of the ground-breaking new global hockey competition ‘Pro League’ – a large scale competition of the greatest hockey nations.

A staggering 128 matches will be staged around the world before a Grand Final takes place in Amstelveen in the Netherlands in June where the top four teams will progress after the league stage.

Current prodigy Tess Howard has already travelled to New Zealand to perform in the first of the games which took place last weekend.

The women’s side had a disappointing 5-1 defeat against strong opposition. However, with several younger players within the squad, the experience is being treated as that of a learning curve with many positives looking ahead.

Howard had already stated her skill on the pitch before Christmas, having scored an impressive goal for Great Britain against Japan.

Tess Howard has already travelled to New Zealand to perform in the first of the games which took place last weekend.

The start of January saw the beginning of the ground-breaking new global hockey competition ‘Pro League’

Commenting on the experience, Howard identifies “travelling the world whilst playing Hockey as a dream come true.”

For Tess, although pressure is high, she “relishes the excitement of Pro League,” hoping to continually improve on the international stage so she and her team can become the “very best we can be.”

The men’s campaign saw a dominant start, achieving a 6-2 win against the New Zealand side.

Graduate Jack Waller has quickly become a mainstay in the Great Britain Squad, scoring during the men’s first game against Belgium and being incorporated within the men’s leadership team.

Mention also goes to the 2018 graduate Rhys Smith who performed in the Great Britain men’s squad against Spain earlier in January.

The majority of games will be live-streamed by BT Sport

Later this month will see the men’s and the women’s sides take on Australia. The Women will also face China, before both squads travel to Argentina for a double-header in April.

The majority of games will be live-streamed by BT Sport, so keep an eye out for Durham representatives making themselves and Durham University proud.

Photograph: Pipa Howard

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