Smith earns England call

Richard Smith, England
Richard Smith, England
fareham's James Evans, right. Picture: Habibur Rahman

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Richard Smith has been named in England’s preliminary 20-man squad for their World League semi-finals in Johar, Malaysia.

The former Purbrook Park School pupil is one of six players who represented Team GB at London 2012 to make the list.

Smith will now fly out to south-east Asia next month ahead of the competition that runs from June 29 to July 7.

The Widley ace, who now plays for Royal Racing Club Brussels, will be hoping he is selected within the final 18-man squad that will be announced a few days before the tournament starts.

Smith will join up with five of his Olympic team-mates as England face off against Malaysia, Pakistan and South Africa in pool B of the World League.

The contests against the latter two will be rematches of the Olympic group stages where GB beat Pakistan 4-1 and claimed a 2-2 draw with the South Africans.

The pre-tournament schedule will see Smith welcome England into his adopted home of Belgium for the first of two friendlies, before travelling to Germany for the second and final warm-up game, where he will add to his 70 England caps.

– RICHARD WILSON