The Israel men’s national lacrosse team has announced its Spring schedule, highlighted by a five-game home slate against the England men’s national team, ahead of July’s World Lacrosse Championships to be held in Israel.
The blue-and-white, who are expected to activate their player pool beyond the team’s current 30-man roster, will see nine total games in April. After playing a couple of contests in New York this weekend, the team will return to Israel to meet England on a five-game tour. The two teams will play against each other in Kiryat Gat on Wednesday, Jerusalem on Thursday, Ashkelon on Friday, Herzliya on Saturday and Netanya on Sunday.
Israel will close its schedule with a two-game slate against the Germany men’s national team in Dresden on April 21 and 22. Israel is 2-0 all-time against the Germans with playoff wins at the 2014 World Championships in Denver and the 2016 European Championships in Budapest.
England and Israel have met twice, with high stakes on their most recent date. England won their ninth set of European Gold Medals, topping the Israelis 7-6 at the 2016 European Championships in Budapest. They also dealt the blue-and-white a one-goal loss at the 2014 World Championships in Denver.
During Aprils friendlies, both national teams are expected to conduct clinics to engage both new and experienced players on each stop of the tour.
“The game gives you so much,” said England head coach Tom Wenham. “To be able to light that fire in a youngster, that’s a really powerful opportunity. I know our guys have done that on other tours we’ve been on. That’s something that should be treasured, and I’m absolutely sure it will.”
The training camp will provide England with a chance to acclimate to Israel ahead of the championships and help the team see how it measures up against high-level competition, something Wenham said he is eager to do.
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But this will also be the first time in Israel for almost everyone involved with England Lacrosse, giving them a unique experience to see a new part of the world. Wenham has traveled to many countries across the globe, but this will be his first trip to Israel.
Wenham said one of the biggest bonuses of the trip is having five games in five different cities, enabling his team to travel to different parts of Israel.
“Credit to Israel Lacrosse for putting together an itinerary that helps us see a bit of Israel,” Wenham said. “It’s a hugely important part of the world in terms of history, and it gives us the opportunity to broaden the horizons of our guys and give them exposure to a country the vast majority of them haven’t visited before.”