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New-look Kookaburras for NZ hockey series

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 17/10/2016 Warren Barnsley

Australia will take inexperienced men's hockey squads into two series next month, with only three players backing up from the Rio Olympics.

The squads were announced on Monday, with Rio Olympians Daniel Beale and Matthew Dawson to play in the Kookaburras' trans-Tasman series in New Zealand as well as Melbourne's International Festival of Hockey.

Andrew Charter will join his Olympics teammates in Melbourne, where Australia will meet India, Malaysia and New Zealand, while Tristan White will make his return at the tournament after being ruled out of Rio due to injury.

Captain Mark Knowles is among the players who went to Rio but were not selected for the two November tournaments, while Australia's greatest player Jamie Dywer retired after the Games in August.

New Kookaburras coach Paul Gaudoin, who replaced Graham Reid after his departure last week, said selections were made with an eye to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

"With many of our current athletes overseas or having time away from the high performance environment, this is the perfect and much needed time to look wider afield," Gaudoin said.

Five players will make their debuts across the two series - Scott Boyde, Ben Craig, Aaron Kleinschmidt, Kurt Mackey and Robert Bell.

The world No.1 Kookaburras were eliminated from gold medal contention in the quarter-finals in a disappointing Rio Olympics campaign.

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