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Giants defenceman Swindlehurst added to Great Britain roster for World Championships



Paul Swindlehurst

Paul Swindlehurst

William Cherry/Presseye

Paul Swindlehurst

Belfast Giants defenceman Paul Swindlehurst has been called up to the Great Britian squad for next month's IIHF World Championships in Riga, Latvia.

The 27-year-old completes the 28-man GB roster for the tournament, which gets under way on May 22, and becomes the fifth Giants player to be included by head coach Pete Russell.

Swindlehurst joins Mark Garside, Lewis Hook, Ben Lake and Ciaran Long on the plane to Latvia after returning from injury at the end of the recent EIHL Series.

The defenceman was due to play a large role for the Coventry Blaze during the mini-tournament in Nottingham but was ruled out of the regular season with an upper body injury. He returned in time for the play-offs, only for the Blaze to be knocked out in the semi-finals by the Nottingham Panthers.

Russell had initially named a 27-man roster for the tournament, setting aside one place to be filled at a later date which was believed to be for Swindlehurst, and that has proved to be correct after the blue-liner proved his fitness with the Blaze.

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Swindlehurst - who has played for the Giants for two seasons, winning the Elite League title and the Challenge Cup in 2019 - has been capped 30 times by GB since making his debut in 2014.

The left-shot blue-liner, who has also played for the Dundee Stars, Panthers and Manchester Storm in the EIHL, has been a permanent fixture in the GB squad since his debut against Lithuania seven years ago and has one goal and four points for his country.

"It is great news that Paul will be taking his place on the roster for the World Championship. He is now an experienced GB player and our defence will certainly be stronger with him in our squad," said Russell.

Great Britain open their Group A campaign against Russia on May 22 and will face Slovakia, Denmark, Belarus, Sweden and the Czech Republic before concluding their tournament against Switzerland on June 1.

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