Rebuild behind Kookas' rapid return

A Rio reality check brought about a complete Kookaburras overhaul with survivor Jacob Whetton confident they have now caught up with the pack.

The Kookaburras were bundled out of the quarter-finals at the 2016 Olympic Games as Argentina went on to beat Belgium for gold.

Whetton said the result stung his side and was the catalyst for change that has seen them quickly return to the top of the world rankings ahead of April's Commonwealth Games.

"We had to reflect after Rio and it was disappointing and took a bit of getting over," he said.

"Hockey's changing and our coaching staff have adapted to that and we've seen some good success."

The Kookaburras beat Argentina in the World League final late last year to regain No.1 status while a gritty Azlan Shah Cup triumph in steamy Singapore was another feather in the cap of the remodelled side.

It is a superb revival but one Whetton knows will never dominate the sporting landscape in a country dominated by cricket and the footy codes.

He's just happy he'll finally get a chance to play for Australia alongside fellow Brisbane junior Daniel Beale in his home state for the first time.

"The way that hockey is played over there (in Europe), it's like a national sport and we work in the background and don't get the media attention which we're fine with," he said.

"We ran around playing for the Brisbane and Queensland teams together, so now to represent Australia and for them (our family) to come and watch us play (in Queensland is exciting)."

KOOKABURRAS' COMMONWEALTH GAMES SCHEDULE

Saturday April 7 - Australia v South Africa

Sunday April 8 - Australia v Scotland

Tuesday April 10 - Australia v Canada

Wednesday April 11 - Australia v New Zealand

Friday April 13 - Semi-finals

Saturday April 14 - Medal matches

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