Hockey: Oz warm-up for NZ team

Photo  APN
Photo APN

New Zealand will warm up for this month's Champions Challenge hockey tournament with two internationals against Australia in Perth, the first tonight.

For both men's teams, the games will help clarify World Cup selections for the year's major event, in the Hague starting at the end of May.

For world No1 Australia, there is the prospect of three titles this year - the World Cup, Commonwealth Games and Champions Trophy.

"This is a chance for a whole range of people to prove their fitness and show their form," Australian coach Ric Charlesworth said of the transtasman clashes.

Seventh-ranked New Zealand are top seeds for the Champions Challenge, starting in Malaysia on April 26, with a game against No15 Ireland.

Victory in that event will guarantee New Zealand's place at the 2016 Champions Trophy.

The second Perth game is on Saturday night, when New Zealand skipper Dean Couzins is expected to play his 300th international.

- NZ Herald

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