Team Canada - 2022 Commonwealth Games Birmingham, England

Canadian Hockey Teams to be Put to the Test in Birmingham

The Canadian Men’s and Women’s (field) hockey teams will compete in the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, having participated in all editions of the Games since hockey was introduced to the Commonwealth Games program back in 1998 in Kuala Lumpur.

Many of the top hockey teams in the world are involved in the Commonwealth Games competition, making for a truly high-level competition. Once again, Australia (1st in World Ranking), India (5th) and England (6th) will be favorites for the podium on the men’s side, while Australia (3rd), England (5th) and India (9th) are leading the pack on the women’s side, with New Zealand and South Africa also perennial dangers on both sides.

Both Canadian teams will be put to the test against this strong and experienced opposition.

The Canadian women’s team, dubbed the “Wolf Pack”, are fresh from participating in the World Cup in Spain earlier in July. Their participation in this marquee event (a first since 1994) is the culmination of their steady progress over the last ten years: bronze medal at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, silver medal at the 2019 Pan Am Games in Lima and a near qualification for the 2020 Olympic Games, only losing in a heart-breaking shoot-out after an intense series against Ireland in Dublin.

The team is coached by Rob Short, a veteran of two Olympic Games, two World Cups and four Commonwealth Games (1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010). The squad has a good mix of experienced and young players.

On the experienced side of the spectrum, players such as Sara McManus, Hannah Haughn, Brienne Stairs, Natalie Sourisseau, Karli Johansen, Maddie Secco and Amanda Woodcroft have been on the National Team for more than ten years and have all played in the tough European leagues. The most capped player is Sara McManus, only the third Canadian woman to reach the 200-Cap milestone, followed closely by Hannah Haughn (196 Caps), while captain Natalie Sourisseau (162 Caps) has made a name for herself in the Dutch League, the crème de la crème of national leagues in Europe.

Among the younger players, many of them already have significant international experience in junior and senior continental competitions, and display advanced skills and maturity for their age.

The Canadian Women’s Team has an average age of 25 and an average number of International Caps of 78. They will open the Commonwealth competition on Friday July 29 (16:00) against Wales, then will play England (July 31), Ghana (August 2) and India (August 3), before moving to the medal or classification part of the tournament.

The men’s team has had to deal with a number of retirements and injuries since the Tokyo Olympic Games, opening the door to a number of young players. No less than six players will make their debuts on the international scene in Birmingham.

Amongst these debutants is Alex Bird, son of Ian Bird, double Olympian and participant in the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur.

The team is led by Keegan Pereira, a veteran of two Olympic Games (2016 and 2020) and two World Cups, who will participate in Birmingham in his fourth Commonwealth Games. Keegan is currently the most capped Canadian player with 196 International Caps, and will reach the 200-Cap milestone in Birmingham. He is followed closely by Taylor Curran (194 Caps), with three other players having already played more than one hundred official games for Canada.

The Canadian Men’s Team has an average age of 26 and an average number of International Caps of 57. They will open the Commonwealth competition on Saturday July 30 (11:00) against Wales, then will play Ghana (August 1), India (August 3) and England (August 4), before moving to the medal or classification part of the tournament.

See Team Canada 2022 media guide for complete bios and visit CBC Sports for details on broadcasting options.