Henry Brett, England’s highest handicapped polo player, has been appointed as Captain of the England polo team for the 2004 season.

England’s first match this season is against Chile on Cartier International Day when the two sides will battle it out for the Coronation Cup.

The 29-year-old takes over from Andrew Hine, who has captained the England side for five successful years. He led the country to victory in three Cartier Internationals, and made history in 2002 when England won against Argentina for the first time in Palermo.

He says: “I have had tremendous support from my team mates and coaches, and have been lucky enough to have enjoyed victories against Australasia, Brazil, Mexico and, most memorably, Argentina.”

Andrew, 39, plays at a handicap of six. He is giving up the captaincy to “make way for the younger set,” according to a spokesman for polo’s governing body, the Hurlingham Polo Association, “although he is by no means hanging up his boots”.

Speaking of Henry Brett and Luke Tomlinson in particular, Andrew added that “there are several very talented young polo players knocking on the England door, and two younger, higher handicapped players who are well capable of taking over the next captaincy. I believe that it us therefore right that I should stand aside for the next generation.”

Brett has a handicap of eight goals, and is well at home in the world of international polo, having made his debut for England eight years ago against Brazil.

“It is a great privilege to be asked to take over from Andrew Hine. There are some very talented young players coming through and England has the potential to produce a team of 30 goals or more within the next few years,” he said, emphasising that he “would like to see the England team playing more internationals at that sort of level in the future.”

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