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Black Sticks gear up for World League tilt

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 10/05/2017 Angelo Risso
Cory Bennett. © Joel Ford/Getty Images Cory Bennett.

World Cup qualification is on the line for the Black Sticks as they welcome a glut of senior players back into the fold ahead of the FIH World League Semi Final in July.

Fresh from a fourth-place finish in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia, coach Darren Smith has named a squad of 28 for a Gold Coast training camp later this month, leading into the series in Johannesburg.

From that tournament, both qualification to the 2018 World Cup in India and the World League Final in December can be earned.

The training camp squad includes a blend of youth and experience, according to Smith, including some who have not played for New Zealand since last year's Rio Olympics.

However Simon Child and Brad Read have been ruled out with injury.

"Critical towards (the Semi Final) is having athletes who enhance the team environment, consistently make the right decisions on the pitch, have the skills to back up that decision-making and are physically able," Smith said.

"The start of an Olympic cycle is the time for an athlete to bring the energy, quality and passion to say, I'm hungry to perform in the Black Sticks jersey."

BLACK STICKS TRAINING CAMP SQUAD: Cory Bennett, David Brydon, Marcus Child, James Coughlan, Rob Creffier, George Enersen, Nick Haig, Blair Hilton, Hugo Inglis, Stephen Jenness, Richard Joyce, Kim Kingstone, Sam Lane, Devon Manchester, Shea McAleese, Harry Miskimmin, Leo Mitai-Wells, George Muir, Dominic Newman, Arun Panchia, Jared Panchia, Hayden Phillips, Nick Ross, Kane Russell, Jacob Smith, Blair Tarrant, Mac Wilcox, Nic Woods.

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