Poncelet facing injury layoff as Eaton gets call for Red Lions

Royal Leopold’s Nicolas Poncelet is facing a six-week layoff through injury after he suffered a double fracture to his forearm.

It means the 20-year-old will miss out on the early part of the year with the Belgian Red Lions who jetted out to the southern hemisphere this week for the first part of their Olympic preparations which involved a series of Pro League games with Australia and New Zealand later this month.

As such, the target will be to try and get back into action for Leo soon with their return for the second half of the outdoor season starting on February 23 against Leuven with the EHL FINAL8 also on the horizon at Easter.

Leo club mate Lewis Eaton, meanwhile, has travelled with the Red Lions down under for his first trip away having earned three caps before.

At 25, he is a late bloomer and had not played in a Belgian underage side since the Under-15s and he told Tip-In he will enjoy the opportunity.

“I am not a stressed person by nature,” he said. “I’m going to play as usual, have fun and do my best. If it goes well, all the better; if not, no problem.

“If I have the chance to definitively join the team after the Olympic Games, that would be great but I don’t really set myself specific goals. I’m going to play without thinking too much about it, I think that’s the key.”

He joins fellow Leo men like Max Plennevaux and Tom Boon in the Belgian panel for the Pro League.

Also at the club, Leopold team mates Tom Degroote, Romain Henet and Tanguy Zimmer, meanwhile, have been named in the Belgian national indoor squad. They will line out in Berlin in a group featuring the Czech Republic, Germany and the Netherlands.