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Black Sticks recall four key Olympians

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 21/11/2016

New Zealand men's hockey coach Colin Batch has recalled several familiar names as they look to continue some form momentum at a tournament in Melbourne.

Fresh from a 2-1 win over Australia in Auckland on Sunday, Batch has named an altered squad of 18 to compete at the International Festival of Hockey.

New Zealand lost the first two Tests in Auckland to cede the Trans-Tasman Trophy but were heartened by a gradual improvement.

Batch has whistled up four senior Black Sticks who competed at the Rio Olympics but weren't selected last week - Shea McAleese, Hugo Inglis, Arun Panchia and Kane Russell. Striker Jared Panchia also slots into the side.

McAleese, who has been playing club hockey in Europe, will captain New Zealand at the five-day tournament staring on Wednesday which also involves Australia, India and Malaysia.

"Playing consistently has been a big focus for us, and we haven't always been able to do that but we did that pretty well at Trans-Tasman," Batch said.

"We go to Melbourne determined to put together good performances in four games and certainly we are out there to win."

New Zealand's first game is against Malaysia.

Black Sticks: Martin Atkinson, Cory Bennett, James Coughlan, Robert Creffier, George Enersen, Nick Haig, Hugo Inglis, Stephen Jenness, Richard Joyce, Kim Kingstone, Harry Miskimmin, Arun Panchia, Jared Panchia, Matt Rees-Gibbs, Nick Ross, Kane Russell, Jacob Smith.

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