Taranaki hockey players will be representing their country, playing Australia next month in the Trans-Tasman Masters Challenge.

A total of eight players from Taranaki have been selected, following a tournament held in Hamilton last month.

Of the eight players picked, half have ties to Stratford. Grant Boyde, Stratford District councillor, has played for Stratford for many years and is a member of the Taranaki Synthetic Turf Trust. Lloyd Morgan is the chair of the Trust. Alan Bunning and Adrian Lobb have also played for Stratford.

The Trans-Tasman Masters Challenge include female and male teams from Australia and New Zealand competing in seven age divisions: 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60 and 65. Each age division plays three matches and the nation that wins the most divisions across all the teams wins the competition.

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A total of eight players from Taranaki have been selected, following a tournament held in Hamilton last month.

"It was a week-long tournament with six games in seven days. It's great to be picked, it is always an honour to represent your country. It is a really good level of hockey."

Grant has been representing New Zealand in Hockey for 11 years and he says it is always an honour to represent his country and wear the silver fern on his chest.

The Masters will be held on the Gold Coast,with the first test on May 1.

"It is great to see in our little town of Stratford, there will be people representing the country."

Grant has previously been selected for the Trans-Tasman challenges and World Cups. He has travelled across the globe playing hockey )- Singapore, London, Hong Kong, Holland, Australia and Spain.

Adrian Lobb, in his sixth year playing for his country, was also picked for the 50 division.

"It is exciting to see my name there again."

In the last Trans-Tasman Masters Challenge, it came down to the last game, with Australia winning.

"Australia is the World Champion in our age group," Grant says.

Lloyd Morgan is in the 55 division and is in his fourth year representing New Zealand.

"It is an exciting opportunity to take on the Aussies. It is a classic family battle."

Alan Bunning, selected for the 45 division, has been playing for seven years for his country.

"It is always an honour. It doesn't matter what age group your'e playing for."

Four other people from the North and South Taranaki districts were also chosen for the Trans-Tasman challenge. Michele Lace (55), Judith Sewell-Monod (50), Stephen Hughes (60) and Malcolm Elder (45). Glen Taylor, a Taranaki umpire, will be umpiring.