Hockey: Black Sticks men, women return after 14-month hiatus for series against Australia

 A 14-month hiatus is almost over for the Black Sticks men and women, with confirmation of a trans-Tasman hockey series later this month. 

The NZ sides will play Australia in four matches at Palmerston North, before final Tokyo Olympic squad selections.

The series will be played on a newly laid turf at Massey University from May 27-June 1 - the first international fixtures in New Zealand since March 2020. 

The mens Black Sticks in action
The mens Black Sticks in action Photo credit: Photosport

Hockey New Zealand chief executive Anthony Crummy says the opening of the trans-Tasman bubble set the wheels in motion to bring the two nations together.

"It’s really pleasing to see the willingness from both countries to do what it takes to make this series happen so quickly and ensure our Tokyo-bound Black Sticks have world-class opposition as the Olympic countdown begins," Crummy says. 

"Given the unfortunate 14-month hiatus in international hockey for both teams, this series will be vital as both a selection event and in our final preparations for Tokyo."

Crummy says Palmerston North was chosen as the host city, because it offered flexibility if there was a change in COVID alert levels.

The Black Sticks squads for Tokyo will be named in the week after the trans-Tasman series.