Vantage Black Sticks Womens head coach Mark Hager has named two teams for this months series against USA and the Vantage Festival of Hockey.

A group of 17 will travel to Rangiora for games against USA on 25 and 26 March, before Natasha Fitzsimons and Rachel McCann join a full team of 18 for the Festival in Hastings from 31 March - 9 April.

Both teams are highlighted by plenty of young talent and led by a core of experience through the likes of Stacey Michelsen (221 tests), Olivia Merry (148), Rose Keddell (144) and Liz Thompson (130).

It will be an exciting return for Midlands defender/midfielder Shiloh Gloyn, who sees her first international action since suffering a torn ACL last year.

Coach Hager said its a timely follow on for the squad after some lessons taken away from the recent series against Argentina in Buenos Aires.

"Were still broadening our squad as we track towards some important selections for the FIH World League Semi Final in June, which is crucial as it doubles as a chance to qualify for the 2018 World Cup," Hager said.

"We need to start converting our opportunities which was highlighted from the recent Argentina series as a priority work on, so we have made some changes to our forward line and playing structures in an effort to complete the good work we have been doing in the attacking third of the field.

"Both series are great opportunities to identify players that will provide us with the best combinations as we move forward over the next few months."


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