Dragflick Newsdesk : After almost a year since the last international hockey match in New Zealand, the Vantage Black Sticks (VBS) will go up against the Kookaburras and Hockeyroos in the Sentinel Homes Trans-Tasman series in Auckland.
2022 marks a hundred years since the first test match between New Zealand and Australia – and Hockey New Zealand is excited to host an eight match series, featuring four men’s and women’s matches at the National Hockey Centre in North Harbour.
Double headers will take place on the evenings of Tuesday 10 and Thursday 12, and the afternoons of Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 May, to mark the centenary.
The test series will see Greg Nicol take charge of the VBS men for the first time in a test match since he was appointed late last year.
Hockey New Zealand CEO Anthony Crummy said he is excited about having fans get the opportunity to see the teams ramp up after working hard in training over the last couple of months.
“With the opening of the border, we’ve worked really hard with Hockey Australia to make this series happen and to give our community the chance to see our Black Sticks in action ahead of some pinnacle events on the horizon.
“These matches will be great for our teams to see where they’re at ahead of a World Cup for the women and the Commonwealth Games for both teams. I know Australia are also looking forward to playing international hockey and I have to commend Hockey Australia for their great work in helping put this together.”
As well as those events Crummy said this series will just be the start as the VBS will return to the FIH Pro-League at the end of the year.
“We can’t wait to bring more international hockey to all parts of the motu and get back to competing on the world stage, inspiring the next generation of hockey players, and turning the Black Sticks into world beaters.”
David Pryles, Hockey Australia CEO, is equally excited about the mouth-watering series.
“As our Trans-Tasman neighbours, there is a long, fierce and respectful rivalry between the two nations on the hockey pitch and this series will add another intriguing chapter to it.”
“With the Kookaburras and Hockeyroos also not having played an international match since last year’s Olympics they are desperate to play and will enter this series with typical vigour.”
Tickets will be available to the general public from midday on Wednesday 20th April. In the meantime, fans can now pre-register here to receive priority access.
The teams last played each other at the Tokyo Olympics with the VBS Women losing 1-0 to the eventual silver medalists and the VBS Men losing 4-2. Both matches were in the pool stages.