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Peris eyes Hockeyroos milestone in Perth return

Murray Wenzel -

Fit-again Hockeyroo Brooke Peris admits the fear and nerves are still there as she prepares for her 200th Test at the venue where it all began 10 years ago.

The 31-year-old has been stuck on 197 caps this year due to injury, missing the side's eight-game Pro League tour of India in February.

A thigh injury also ruled Peris, the cousin of former Olympic hockey champion-turned track sprinter Nova, out of the 2022 World Cup and Commonwealth Games.

But she's back to line up for games against China, Japan and Australia A in Perth from April 20 for crucial pre-Olympic fixtures.

"I've been waiting for a long time for this moment but it's good to be back with the girls," the Darwin product said.

"I've been delayed; a lot of rehab, but glad to be back with the girls.

"I can't believe it's gone this fast, but it's been a journey, a 10-year journey and maybe there's more to come.

"I remember how scared and nervous I was (debuting). Ten years later I'm still very scared and nervous.

"I don't know if that's a good thing but I'm looking forward to it."

The Kookaburras will play five Tests in eight days against India before the women's series, beginning this Saturday.

Two-time Olympian and West Australian product Aran Zalewski will bring up 250 Tests in the series opener, while Matt Dawson (198) and Tom Wickham (95) are also within reach of milestones.

Kookaburras Tom Craig and Tim Howard and Hockeyroos Penny Squibb, Grace Stewart and Tatum Stewart will miss the series with injuries but should all be available for May's Pro League European swing.

The Kookaburras have won seven of their eight Tests this year and again loom as genuine chances to add to the side's sole Olympic gold in Paris from July, claimed 20 years ago in Athens.

"We had two incredible games against India at the FIH Pro League in February, so we know this will be a massive challenge for us to play them five times," coach Colin Batch said.

"We will continue to give players the opportunity throughout the series, to assess them for our upcoming European Pro League tour."

HOCKEYROOS: Alice Arnott, Jocelyn Bartram (gk), Maddison Brooks, Jane Claxton, Claire Colwill, Rebecca Greiner, Greta Hayes, Stephanie Kershaw, Amy Lawton, Rosie Malone, Kaitlin Nobbs, Brooke Peris, Aleisha Power (gk), Hattie Shand, Lucy Sharman, Karri Somerville, Renee Taylor, Mariah Williams, Grace Young.

KOOKABURRAS: Jacob Anderson, Jayden Atkinson, Daniel Beale, Josh Beltz, Tim Brand, Andrew Charter (gk), James Collins, Matt Dawson, Johan Durst (gk), Nathan Ephraums, Blake Govers, Jake Harvie, Jeremy Hayward, Craig Marais, Eddie Ockenden, Flynn Ogilvie, Joel Rintala, Lachlan Sharp, Ash Thomas (gk), Jack Welch, Corey Weyer, Jake Whetton, Tom Wickham, Ky Willott, Aran Zalewski.

Murray Wenzel - AAP


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