The German men are headed to South Africa for a four-test series against the African Champions at Wits University. The Germans have only played two games in the 2020 Pro League so far with a victory and draw against Spain, so will be using the camp to prepare for both the Pro League and the Olympic Games later this year. The 2008 and 2012 Olympic Champions will be hoping to return to the top of the podium in Tokyo this year.
Captain Tobias Hauke has more than 300 caps for the country and is joined by fellow centurions in the German squad in Mathias Muller (116), Lukas Windfeder (111), Martin Haner (249), Martin Zwicker (232), Benedict Furk (167), Niklas Wellen (135), Christopher Ruhr (139), Marco Miltkau (101) and Florian Fuchs (216) in a very strong German squad. The Germans took part in 25 test matches in 29, while the South Africans played just 14. It’s a well-practiced and disciplined side that is going to be a remarkably tough test for the South Africans.
To add to the challenge, apart from the South African players based in Germany, all other European based players are not available, so the likes of Keenan Horne, Austin Smith, Taine Paton and Dan Bell are not available for the series. It does however offer other players the chance to impress Garreth Ewing and his coaching staff as well as the selectors for a seat on the plane to Tokyo but robs the team of building on the good progress that was shown in the USA series.
They have however won 15 of their last 18 test matches and the SA Men will not be a walkover for Germany. Nic Spooner is one of the finest in the squad and plays his club mate and good friend in Hauke, while Bili Ntuli has showed throughout his 50 tests how good he can be with limited goal opportunities. There is some big experience in the likes of Jethro Eustice, Clinton Panther and Rassie Pieterse while Peabo Lembethe’s hockey cv gets enhanced every time he steps on the field.
There is also the added element of opportunity for the South Africans that a single victory against Germany in this series would produce approximately 17 ranking points, where a defeat will lose only approximately 2 points. With the African Champions sitting on the heels of Ireland, these test matches will assist in getting SA closer to the top 10 in the world.
All four matches will be streamed live on Shoott South Africa’s Facebook page, but if you are in Johannesburg head down to Wits for series.
SA vs. Germany Test Series @ Wits University – Fixtures
22/02/2020 – 15:00
23/02/2020 – 15:00
27/02/2020 – 17:00
29/02/2020 – 11:00
SA vs. Germany Test Series – Men’s Squad
Rassie Pieterse, Siya Nolutshungu, Jethro Eustice, Matt Brown, Le-Neal Jackson, Tyson Dlungwana, Chad Futcher, Gareth Heyns, Andrew Hobson, Alex Stewart, Peabo Lembethe, Sam Mvimbi, Nic Spooner, Clinton Panther, Ryan Julius, Dayaan Cassiem, Ignatius Malgraff, Bili Ntuli, Ryan Crowe, Richard Pautz and Rusten Abrahams.
Image - Raw Shuga Photography – Not for Reuse