Gemma McCaw won't be returning for the Black Sticks despite a strong outing for Midlands at the national hockey league tournament.

McCaw has made herself unavailable for next month's Oceania Cup in Sydney despite helping Midlands to the K Cup title after beating Northland in Sunday's final.

Her decision is based on wanting to focus on her career and her family life with husband Richie McCaw.

National hockey coach Mark Hager said he hoped the door remained open for McCaw to return but in the meantime she was focusing on work commitments and her personal life.


McCaw, who has studied for a Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science throughout her hockey career, works as a health coach. She also write a column for a women's magazine.

She has played more than 200 internationals for New Zealand and last appeared for the Black Sticks at last year's Rio Olympics.

Eleven players from last weekend's final have been included in the Black Sticks squad.

Classy defender Stacey Michelsen, is the most capped player with 235 tests, while eight others have played more than 100 matches.

North Harbour defender Stephanie Dickins and Midlands defender/midfielder Tarryn Davey, both with just seven caps to their credit, have both been rewarded for impressive performances throughout the week at the Ford-sponsored NHL.

"We have a few changes from our team which played at the world league semifinal in Belgium and I think it shows the quality of depth we have with competition for spots," Hager said.

"Steph Dickins and Tarryn Davey, in particular, were great contributors for their teams at the NHL and they will bring athleticism for us along with fitness, speed and versatility.

"While we have already qualified for the World Cup, we will be going to the Oceania Cup with plenty of motivation and team goals in the lead up to the world league final in Auckland in November."

Experienced defender Sam Charlton, who led Midlands to the national women's title on Sunday, is one match shy of her 200th international, while goalkeeper Sally Rutherford is three short of reaching 150.

The Oceania Cup runs from October 11-15 with New Zealand, ranked sixth, are joined by fifth-ranked hosts Australia and outsiders Papua New Guinea.

Held every two years, the Oceania Cup is the continental championship for the Oceania region with the winner of each gender automatically qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.

The Black Sticks have already qualified for the cup, which will be held in London next July.

New Zealand squad: Sam Charlton, Frances Davies, Tarryn Davey, Natasha Fitzsimons, Shiloh Gloyn, Rose Keddell, Amy Robinson, Sally Rutherford (Midlands), Steph Dickins (North Harbour), Ella Gunson, Stacey Michelsen, Brooke Neal (Northland), Kelsey Smith (Capital), Olivia Merry, Rachel McCann (Canterbury), Grace O'Hanlon, Liz Thompson, Sam Harrison (Auckland).