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Australian hockey swings axe for Tokyo

AAP logoAAP 21/12/2016 Warren Barnsley

Australia has wielded the axe for next year's Hockeyroos and Kookaburras squads after the disappointment of the Rio Olympics.

Selectors have turned their attention to the Tokyo Games in 2020, cutting the majority of Rio squad members for the 2017 campaign.

The Kookaburras have nine 2016 Rio members in its 23-strong squad for next year, with multiple Olympians Mark Knowles, Eddie Ockenden and Matthew Swann keeping their spots.

Men's coach Colin Batch said the hard-line approach to selection would allow young players the chance to develop ahead of Tokyo.

"We've taken a long-term view with this selection, and it's based upon building the team through the next four-year cycle," Batch said.

"I want to stress that we know it's a hard line that has been taken with the 2017 squad selection, and some of the athletes who have missed out still have potential and may get called upon in the short term."

The Hockeyroos will take 12 players with Olympic experience into a year which includes the Hawkes Bay Cup, World League finals and Oceania Cup before the Gold Coast Commonwealth games in 2018.

Defender Anna Flanagan was not considered as she takes time away from the game for personal reasons, while veterans Casey Sablowski and Jodie Kenny have taken a break post-Rio.

Neither side was able to progress past the quarter-finals at this year's Olympics despite expectations of a medal.

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