Hockey: Black Sticks ring the changes for transtasman series

Pippa Hayward and Jin Hye Cho. New Zealand v Korea. Festival of Hockey at the Hawke's Bay Regional Sports Park in Hastings. 7 April 2016. Photo /  Paul Taylor.
Pippa Hayward and Jin Hye Cho. New Zealand v Korea. Festival of Hockey at the Hawke's Bay Regional Sports Park in Hastings. 7 April 2016. Photo / Paul Taylor.

The changes have been rung in the women's Black Sticks squad for the inaugural transtasman trophy against Australia in Auckland this month.

The squad of 18 includes eight players having their first action since the Rio Olympics in August, and two debutants in Capital midfielder Felicity Reidy, and Midlands defender Kim Tanner.

Several players are making a return, including Auckland attacker Sam Harrison, Central attacker Michaela Curtis and Canterbury defender Jenny Storey.

Retirements and unavailabilities have hurt but coach Mark Hager is relishing the chance to test the depth in New Zealand hockey.

"It's a fresh start for us after a tough Rio campaign and we have eight players who played there and are keen to get straight back to business," he said. "We've named a high quality group for the trophy with plenty of players who have the opportunity to showcase their skills and put pressure on some of the more senior athletes for places in next year's squad which will be named in December."

The senior player is Northland's Stacey Michelsen, who has 216 caps to her name, while Olivia Merry, Pippa Hayward, Sally Rutherford and Liz Thompson have all played more than 100 internationals.

The New Zealand men's and women's teams are playing three double headers against their Australian counterparts at Lloyd Elsmore Park from Nov ember 17-20.

New Zealand squad for the transtasman trophy: Amelia Gibson, Sam Harrison, Liz Thompson (Auckland), Erin Goad, Kirsten Pearce (North Harbour), Natasha Fitzsimons, Rose Keddell, Sally Rutherford, Kim Tanner (Midlands), Michaela Curtis (Central), Jordan Grant, Pippa Hayward, Rachel McCann, Olivia Merry, Jenny Storey (Canterbury, Stacey Michelsen (Northland), Felicity Reidy, Kelsey Smith (Capital).

- NZ Herald

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