New Zealand: Woods Set for Blacksticks Captaincy


The Vantage Black Sticks men (wr9) will take on India (5) tomorrow in their opening match of the 2022/23 FIH Pro League season at 2.30am Saturday NZT.

It will be their first match since the Birmingham Commonwealth Games and is the first time the squad has been able to train together with a number of players plying their trade at club level in Europe.

“It’s really good to have the boys all together here in India and the boys will be in some good form after coming in from Europe,” said head coach Greg Nicol.

“The games against India and Spain this weekend are a great opportunity to build some consistency.

“It’ll be the first time we’ve played together since Birmingham so we might not be perfectly accurate but there will be lots of intent and lots of energy.”

Saturday morning’s game against India will also see Nic Woods take the captain’s armband, with Blair Tarrant deciding to step back and let the next generation of players take control of the team’s direction while helping them succeed in that space. 

“I’m super excited to lead this team into Paris and beyond with so much youth and talent coming through.”

Nicol is excited about what Woods will bring to the table.

“He’s been in the group for a long time and offers a lot from a hockey brain point of view and is tactically one of our smartest players – so that was a key component of putting him in charge.”

The VBS play 3 additional matches in India – Spain (8) 2.30am Sunday 30 Oct, India 2.30am Saturday 5 Nov, Spain 2.30am Sunday 6 Nov. The games will be live and on demand on Spark Sport.


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