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New Zealand World Cup squad unchanged from Champions Challenge

New Zealand have named an unchanged squad for the hockey World Cup, unchanged from the side which finished fifth at the Champions Challenge in Malaysia in April.

The side won five of their six matches in Kuantan but an unexpected slip-up against the hosts in the quarter-finals (where they lost in a shootout after a 4-4 draw) left the Black Sticks outside the medal places.

The squad is led by experienced veterans Dean Couzins and Phil Burrows, who have both played more than 300 tests for New Zealand.

Nine other players have eclipsed 100 tests, along with striker Simon Child who recently played his 200th game at just 26 years of age.

There are eight new players to the team since the 2012 London Olympics, including some young talent in Southern defender Kane Russell and Auckland striker Jared Panchia, who both played at the junior World Cup in December last year.

Midfielder Shay Neal has recovered from a long-term hip injury and will travel with the team as 19th man in case of any last minute injuries before the tournament begins.

Coach Colin Batch said: “We’ve got to the stage where we have two players with over 300 caps, Simon Child with 200 and plenty of others well over 100.

“We now have some good experience as individuals, while as a team we are still learning a lot and have seen huge growth. We don’t feel we’ve reached anywhere near our peak yet and can improve substantially over the next few weeks.

“This is a huge tournament for us – we want to do well and are all very excited. It’s an important moment for the team and will give us a view for the next few years tracking towards the Rio Olympics in 2016.”

At the World Cup the Black Sticks are in Pool B with hosts Netherlands, Germany, Korea, Argentina and South Africa. They play Korea on Sunday June 1 at 5.30pm (CET).

The New Zealand men’s hockey World Cup squad

Shirt #

Player Name

NHL Team

Position

Age

Caps

4

Nick HAIG

Canterbury

Midfielder

27

140

5

Andy HAYWARD

Midlands

Defender

28

169

6

Simon CHILD

Auckland

Striker

26

200

8

Dean COUZINS

Auckland

Defender

32

306

9

Blair HILTON

Capital

Striker

24

120

13

Marcus CHILD

Auckland

Striker

23

60

14

Jared PANCHIA

Auckland

Striker

20

33

16

Hamish McGREGOR

Southern

Goalkeeper

26

32

18

Phil BURROWS

Capital

Midfielder

34

320

19

Alex SHAW

Capital

Defender

24

47

20

Devon MANCHESTER

Auckland

Goalkeeper

24

34

21

Kane RUSSELL

Southern

Defender

22

35

22

Blair TARRANT

Southern

Defender

24

101

24

Arun PANCHIA

Auckland

Midfielder

25

131

25

Shea McALEESE

Central

Midfielder

29

198

27

Stephen JENNESS

Capital

Striker

23

108

29

Hugo INGLIS

Southern

Striker

23

128

31

Steve EDWARDS

North Harbour

Midfielder

28

176

 

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