Hockey: Both Black Sticks teams to face Aus in November

New Zealand's Kirsten Pearce, center, celebrates with teammate New Zealand's Charlotte Harrison after scoring against South Korea. Photo / AP.
New Zealand's Kirsten Pearce, center, celebrates with teammate New Zealand's Charlotte Harrison after scoring against South Korea. Photo / AP.

Both national Black Sticks teams are to go head to head with Australia's national teams in the inaugural trans-Tasman series in Auckland in November.

The annual event is in place for the next four years, with Lloyd Elsmore Stadium to be the venue.

The series will alternate host countries, with New Zealand to also host in 2018, and Canberra next year and in 2019.

The format is three double header internationals on November 17, 19 and 20.

It's the first partnership of this kind between the New Zealand and Australian national bodies, and marks a significant milestone in a wider long-term partnership either side of the Tasman.

Hockey New Zealand high performance director Terry Evans said the event will provide fantastic development opportunities for the Black Sticks against world class opposition without the burden of lengthy travel.

Australia are ranked fourth and New Zealand fifth in the women's game, while Australia are No 1 among the men and New Zealand No 8.

"This is a huge development for Hockey New Zealand as we look to build an even closer relationship with our Australian counterparts on all levels," Evans said.

"Having the opportunity to play an annual event gives our Black Sticks men and women amazing experience against two of the world's best teams as well as an unbeatable spectacle for fans.

"As our closest neighbours, we are excited about the prospect of building on a much closer relationship with Hockey Australia at all levels of the sport. From a high performance perspective it's a rivalry which will help our teams get stronger and more confident the more we play them."

On the first day the women's international will be curtain raiser to the men, but the women hold the main stage on the second and third days.

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