Six debutants have been named in the New Zealand men's hockey squad for the four test series against Japan.
Canterbury striker Richard Bain, defenders Dane Lett of Wellington and Dwayne Rowsell of Auckland, Midlands midfielder Nic Woods and goalkeepers George Enersen and Richard Joyce of Canterbury and North Harbour respectively have been included in the 20-strong squad.
The four-Test series is next week with two games at the National Hockey Stadium in Newtown and a further two internationals at Coastlands Kapiti Sports Turf in Paraparaumu.
Balancing out the newcomers are experienced campaigners Simon Child, Steve Edwards, Nick Haig, Arun Panchia and Blair Tarrant who have all played more than 100 Tests each for New Zealand.
Coach Colin Batch says while six is a large number of debutants to include at once, it reflects the need to create more depth.
Following the retirement of veteran Dean Couzins, Batch will be rotating captains during the Japan series and next month's four-Test series against Canada, in Nelson and Christchurch.
Striker Simon Child, who's played 212 Tests, will lead the side against Japan.