Hockey New Zealand (HNZ) is delighted to announce the return of international hockey competition to our shores after what will have been a three year hiatus.
March 2020 was the last time the Vantage Black Sticks (VBS) played a country, other than Australia, in NZ when they faced Argentina in Season 2 of the FIH Pro League. Naturally, due to border restrictions, the VBS were unable to compete in Season 3 of Pro League but are set to re-join for Season 4.
HNZ can also reveal that the National Hockey Stadium in Wellington will play host to the VBS Women, as well as China and the USA from February 18-26. Ngā Puna Wai in Christchurch will be the venue for both VBS Men and Women as they face Australia and Great Britain from April 22-30 – including an ANZAC Day double header.
Acting CEO of HNZ, Ken Maplesden, is thrilled to be able to take international hockey back around the country.
“Our fans have been starved of top flight hockey for such a long time so it’s brilliant to be able to host 18 international hockey matches early next year – especially being able to showcase women’s sport in Wellington and hosting two of our biggest rivals for an exhilarating week of hockey in Christchurch.
“We know there will be huge excitement for these matches and we can’t wait to see our fans out in force with all teams playing each other twice, providing plenty of opportunity to see some of the world’s best in two fantastic locations.”
WellingtonNZ CEO John Allen said, “Wellington has always been a city that knows how to support sport, and wāhine.
“As we wave goodbye to COVID, and the isolation it brought with it, Wellington is relishing the opportunity to host the Black Sticks Women. Welcome back, international hockey. We have missed you.”
ChristchurchNZ General Manager of Destination & Attraction Tracey Wilson is also proud to support the FIH Pro League returning, especially to Ōtautahi Christchurch in April 2023
“It will be great to host the New Zealand, Australian, and the Great Britain teams here and show their fans why Christchurch is one of the world’s great sporting cities with world-class hockey facilities for both men and women.”
Meanwhile the VBS Men will start their Pro League campaign in India in October where they will take on India and Spain. A Trans-Tasman Masters series will also take place concurrently with the Pro League matches in April
Tickets for the NZ Pro League matches will go on sale in November.