England men's and women's teams will have high hopes of medals going into the group stages of the Rabobank Hockey World Cup, although both have the unenviable task of playing the reigning world champions in their pool matches.

The men will open their account against Spain, but the potentially toughest match will be against Australia in the fourth round of pool games. Bobby Crutchley's men will also face Belgium, India and Malaysia.

England women are in Pool B and will face both the reigning world champions Argentina and the European Champions Germany. They will also play China, USA and South Africa. 

Going into the tournament, the women have the marginally higher ranking; they are currently third in the FIH rankings, while the men are ranked fourth. However both sides have tasted success in recent years, with the men picking up the bronze medal at the Hero Hockey World League Finals and the women winning bronze at the London 2012 Olympics (playing as Great Britain) and emulating the men with a bronze at the World League Finals.

Hopes for hockey success in the Hague come at a time when England Hockey is enjoying an additional buzz of excitement at the prospect of hosting four major events in the next four years. In 2018, England will host the women's World Cup, the EuroHockey Championships in 2015, the Women's Champion Event a year later and a round of the Men's World League in 2017.