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Revington stuns squad with sweeping changes for Lille challenge

Irish hockey coach Paul Revington has made wholesale changes to his squad for the Champions Challenge hockey tournament that starts in Lille tomorrow.

Half the players who took part in last week's Four Nations event at Belfield have been overlooked this time around.

Revington insists that he has strength in depth and his selection for the world ranking event in France suggests that he really believes it.

Gone from the line-up are leading goalscorer and vice-captain John Jermyn, stalwart defender Tim Lewis, and seven others.

Monkstown goalkeeper David Fitzgerald has been called in as cover for No 1 netminder David Harte, rather than the more experienced Iain Walker.

It is no surprise that Eugene Magee is back in the Irish attack following injury, while Paul Gleghorne resumes his place at the back after exams.

Revington has also found room for Peter Blakeney, Alan Giles, John Jackson, Andy McConnell and Gareth Watkins.

Ireland's Champions Challenge programme starts with a match against Scotland tomorrow (2.0 Irish time), with France and Russia to follow in the group stages.

The Irish will meet either Austria, Czech Republic, United States or China from the other half of the draw when the knockout stages start on Thursday.

Irish Independent