The Vantage Black Sticks Women begin their FIH World League Semi Final tournament against Spain at 6am on Thursday morning (NZ time) at the Stade Fallon in Brussels.

New Zealand joins reigning world champions Netherlands, hosts Belgium, Oceania champions Australia, Asian champions Korea, China, Spain, Malaysia, Scotland and Italy at the tournament which runs from 21 June - 2 July.

Brussels is the first of two World League Semi Final events, with the other being held in Johannesburg between 8-23 July.

The top four finishers in Brussels will qualify for the FIH Womens World League Final in Auckland this November, while the Black Sticks are already guaranteed a place as hosts.

There are also five automatic berths available for the 2018 Hockey Women's World Cup in London, although this will increase depending on results from the upcoming Continental Championships which are World Cup qualification events.

With this detail in mind, all competing nations will be determined to finish as high up the standings as possible to give themselves the best chance of a ticket to the World Cup from 21 July - 5 August, 2018.

Across the two pools, there are some intriguing match-ups.

The Black Sticks headline Pool B and are joined by trans-Tasman rivals Australia, hosts Belgium, Malaysia and Spain.

Led by experienced captain Stacey Michelsen, the Kiwis will certainly be looking to be among the medals on this occasion.

Over in Pool A, reigning world champions Netherlands are set to battle it out against Korea, China, Scotland and Italy.

All New Zealand games at the World League Semi Final in Brussels will be broadcast live on SKY Sport.

MATCH SCHEDULE (all in NZ time)

Broadcast live on SKY Sport

Thursday 22nd June

6:00am - New Zealand vs Spain

Sunday 25th June

12:00am - New Zealand vs Australia

Monday 26th June

2:00am - New Zealand vs Belgium

Wednesday 28th June

2:00am - New Zealand vs Malaysia

Thursday 29th June

Quarter Finals

Saturday 1st July

Semi Finals

Sunday 2nd July

Finals Day


- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Hockey NZ