Hockey: Three from Southernin Rio team

Hugo Inglis.
Hugo Inglis.
Southern striker Hugo Inglis will be heading off to his second Olympics and this time he will be joined by two of his provincial teammates, defenders Kane Russell and Blair Tarrant.

The Southern Dogs trio were named in the 16-strong New Zealand men's team which will contest the Rio Olympics.

The squad includes four players who will be attending their third Olympics: captain Simon Child, fellow Aucklander Ryan Archibald, Canterbury defender Bradley Shaw and Central defender Shea McAleese.

At the other end of the scale, Levin 18-year-old Hayden Philips, after just 11 international appearances, has won selection as part of the midfield picks.

He has made a strong impact in his early days with the national team.

Kane Russell.
Kane Russell.
Four other players, Inglis, Nick Wilson, Blair Hilton and Stephen Jenness, all played at the London Games four years ago.

The goalkeeping job has gone to Auckland's Devon Manchester, who held off a solid challenge from veteran Kyle Pontifex.

"We have named our team early which gives us extra time to prepare and train together as a unit,'' coach Colin Batch said.

"I believe we are in a good position to accelerate our development, individually and as a team.''

National champion Auckland is the most heavily represented in the squad, with four players.

There are three apiece from Central and Southern, two from Capital and one each from Canterbury, North Harbour, Northland and Midlands.

Blair Tarrant.
Blair Tarrant.
New Zealand, ranked eighth in the world, kicks off the tournament on the opening day of competition against world No1 Australia, in a crunch game.

The tournament will use a quarterfinal format, the top four from each pool progressing.

The winners of the quarterfinals will then vie for the medals.

Batch said the improving depth and consistency across the game at the highest level meant there would be no easy route to the quarters.

"However, I'm confident we can perform well and be a strong contender at the business end of the tournament.''

The Black Sticks are aiming to add to their solitary Olympic medal, the gold won in Montreal in 1976.

The New Zealand's women's squad, ranked fourth and rated a real medal chance, will be named late this month or early in July.


Black Sticks
For Rio Olympics

Devon Manchester, Shea McAleese, Blair Tarrant, Nic Woods, Kane Russell, Bradley Shaw, Ryan Archibald, James Coughlan, Arun Panchia, Hayden Phillips, Simon Child, Blair Hilton, Hugo Inglis, Stephen Jenness, Shay Neal, Nick Wilson.

Men's tournament pools

Pool A: Australia (world No), Britain (4), Belgium (5), New Zealand (8), Spain (11), Brazil (32).

Pool B: Netherlands (2), Germany (3), Argentina (6), India (7), Ireland (12), Canada (14).


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