United Kingdom vice-captain Jason Webb (right) in action last weekend.
United Kingdom vice-captain Jason Webb (right) in action last weekend. Gerard Walsh

Cup history beckons for Australia and South Africa

POLOCROSSE: The 2019 Adina Polocrosse World Cup could well determine the strongest country of all time.

Both Australia (2003 and 2007) and South Africa (2011 and 2015) have won two World Cups.

If either win next week, they will become the most successful country in World Cup history.

But nothing is certain in this World Cup. There have been plenty of upsets down the years, especially in 2015 when Zambia beat South Africa in round one.

The loss relegated South Africa to second place in their pool and set up a semi-final against Australia, which placed first in the other pool.

The Aussies lost in the semi and South Africa turned the tables on Zambia in the grand final to win the cup.

The South Africans play a more attacking game of polocrosse than other countries and this should be apparent at the cup as five of the international coaches are from South Africa. Most still live there.

The UK is one to watch, having made grand finals when not rated as one of the top-two teams.

Despite learning to play polocrosse in NSW, Jason Webb is vice-captain of the UK team

While they won't clash in the round games there is a chance Webb - who is heading into his second World Cup - could come up against his brother-in-law Will Weston, who is playing for Australia, in the finals.

Webb's sister Sandra Weston is playing for NSW in the Barastoc Interstate Series, which starts next week on Tuesday.

Their sister Bec Byrne is a member of the Cunningham club and lives in the Warwick area.

One of the players to watch next week is Western Australia's Suzette Thomas. Lining up, for her second World Cup, she was the best female player at the 2007 edition.

Australia has the most players in the world - 3000 playing members and 600 social members across all states.

South Africa has 400 players.

Zambia has the least, 80.

The only change in the teams at the World Cup has been the addition of Zambia in 2011 at the expense of Canada.

Rankings: 1 South Africa, 2 Zambia, 3 Australia, 4 UK, 5 New Zealand, 6 Zimbabwe, 7 USA, 8 Ireland.