21 May 2010

Strong Black Sticks men squad for Champions Trophy

7:25 am on 21 May 2010

The New Zealand men's hockey coach Shane McLeod is enjoying the luxury of being able to name his strongest team for the Champions Trophy.

From next month McLeod will have several of his more experienced players such as Ryan Archibald, Phil Burrows and Simon Child back from playing in league competitions in Europe.

He says the Black Sticks will be playing the top five teams in the world so it's vital to have the best players in Germany in early August.

The Shaw brothers Hayden and Brad are back too, and the only new cap is the 20-year-old Wellington defender Blair Tarrant.

The Shaws weren't available for the World Cup in March, when Burrows broke his leg early in the tournament while Child didn't go to Delhi after a terrorist threat.

The Black Sticks are ranked seventh in the world but their World Challenge win in Argentina in December qualified them to join the current world champions Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and England.