An “invaluable” four-match series between Australia and New Zealand will take place at the end of the month, bringing to an end 14 months without international hockey for the trans Tasman rivals.
The four-match series for both men and women in Palmerston North – which has a similar pitch that used in Tokyo – will be the final selection event before the two countries name their Olympic squads.
Matches will be played on the new Massey University turf between May 27 -June 1. They will be the first internationals in Palmerston North since 2014 when the Black Sticks women played the USA.
Hockey New Zealand chief Anthony Crummy said: “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 Vantage Black Sticks have world-class opposition as the Olympic countdown begins.
Hockey Australia Chief Executive Matt Favier added: “Similarly to New Zealand, our athletes’ resilience and adaptability has been tested without any international competition since March last year, particularly in the lead up to an Olympics.
“This four-match series against quality opposition will be invaluable.”