The Australian national women’s team will have a fresh injection of both youth and experience in the lead up to the Beijing Olympics following the recent announcement of the 2008 National Women's Squad.

Ashleigh Nelson (WA, 2 matches, 0 goals) and Megan Rivers (NSW, 85 matches, 14 goals) have forced their way into the Hockeyroos squad at the expense of Amy Korner and Peta Gallagher, both of whom have battled various injuries in recent times.

Hockeyroos Coach Frank Murray said both Nelson and Rivers deserved their place in the squad following impressive performances in recent months.

"Both players have stepped up and performed well in the past when given the opportunity, and I see no reason why this will not continue in the future," said Murray.

While noting Rivers' speed and good goal sense as an asset to the squad, Murray was also quick to mention the rapid development of Nelson as a reason for her inclusion.

"Nelson has shown massive improvement and was given an opportunity in the recent series against Japan where she performed quite well."

Murray said Nelson's inclusion in the squad could be only the beginning for the talented 20 year old with the Beijing Olympics just around the corner.

"I have no doubt that if her improvement continues she will give the Olympic group a good shake up."

The National Women's Squad will not be reviewed again until after the Women's Australian Hockey League series starting in Perth on Monday 24th March, 2008.

2008 National Women's Squad:

Nicole Arrold, Teneal Attard, Madonna Blyth, Toni Cronk, Casey Eastham, Suzie Faulkner, Emily Halliday, Kate Hollywood, Nikki Hudson, Rachel Imison, Fiona Johnson, Angela Lambert, Shelly Liddelow, Rachael Lynch, Kobie McGurk, Hope Munro, Ashleigh Nelson, Megan Rivers, Rebecca Sanders, Emma Stewart, Sarah Taylor, Renee Trost, Melanie Twitt, Kim Walker

Source: Hockey Australia