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Eight newbies in Black Sticks squad vs Aus

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 12/10/2016

Eight Kiwi hockey players are in line for their Black Sticks debut when the side takes on Australia in the inaugural trans-Tasman series.

Black Sticks boss Colin Batch has named a squad of 20 for the three-match November series in Auckland as the side begins their ascent towards Tokyo 2020.

Canterbury trio David Brydon, Sam Lane and Dominic Newman could make their debut, as could Central pair Martin Atkinson and Robert Creffier.

The same goes for Capital's Harry Miskimmin and Brad Read, as well as Auckland's Kim Kingstone.

In the squad, only veterans Nick Haig and Stephen Jenness have made more than 100 appearances for their country.

"This is a very fresh team but every player selected deserves to be there from what they have shown us over the past 12 months," Batch said.

"Following on from Rio, it's the right time to explore and give some opportunities to younger players to see if they can step up to the challenge."

Brydon, who plays in defence for Canterbury, couldn't wait to pick up the black stick for the first time.

The 20-year-old will also be representing New Zealand in December at the Junior World Cup in India.

"When Colin gave me the call to tell me I had been selected, I was a bit speechless to be honest," Brydon said.

"It will be a baptism of fire for us debutants against the Aussies."

BLACK STICKS: Martin Atkinson, Cory Bennett, David Brydon, James Coughlan, Robert Creffier, Nick Haig, Stephen Jenness, Richard Joyce, Kim Kingstone, Sam Lane, Devon Manchester, Harry Miskimmin, Leo Mitai-Wells, Dominic Newman, Hayden Phillips, Brad Read, Matt Rees-Gibbs, Nick Ross, Alex Shaw, Jacob Smith.

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