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Jopp, who has played 45 tests for her country, was forced to withdraw from the New Zealand Commonwealth Games team earlier this year for medical reasons.
She made her playing return during the National Hockey League in September and is the only player from the region to be named in the Black Sticks women’s squad for the 2019 season.
Southern has four representatives named in the men’s team, however. Regulars Hugo Inglis, Kane Russell, Nick Ross and Blair Tarrant have collectively represented their country more than 600 times. Ross is the only player yet to crack 100 and he is on 93.
But Shea McAleese (272) and Arun Panchia (253) are leading the way as the most capped players in the national squad. Both squads have had tremendous success this year, with the women’s team bringing home its first gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. The men’s team, which is currently preparing for the 2018 World Cup, brought home silver medals from the Commonwealth Games.
The 2019 season includes the inaugural FIH Pro League competition, where both Black Sticks teams will come up against the best sides in the world. The Black Sticks sides will take on teams from the Netherlands, Belgium, Great Britain, Germany, Argentina and Australia, as well as the Pakistan and Spain men’s teams and the China and USA women’s teams in home and away fixtures. The women’s squad features several proven international performers, with Stacey Michelsen (261) and Sam Charlton (226) having amassed the most appearances for their country.
There are three uncapped players in the side, including 17-year-old stand-out player Olivia Shannon. This caps off a remarkable year for her, during which she has won the national under-18 tournament, Aon Federation Cup and was in the runner-up Central Mysticks at the Ford NHL where she was named tournament MVP.
The announcement of the national squad also brings in a new Memorandum of Understanding with the Hockey Players Association. The introduction of the FIH Pro League is fast tracking hockey toward towards semi-professionalism.
Men: George Enersen, Richard Joyce, Devon Manchester, Shea McAleese, Dane Lett, Blair Tarrant, Cory Bennett, Brad Read, David Brydon, Kane Russell, Arun Panchia, Nic Woods, Aidan Sarikaya, Marcus Child, Harry Miskimmin, Hayden Phillips, Max Wilcox, Hugo Inglis, George Muir, Dominic Newman, Sam Lane, Stephen Jenness, Jared Panchia, Dylan Thomas, Nick Ross
Women: Leah Butt, Sam Charlton, Tarryn Davey, Frances Davies, Steph Dickins, Madison Doar, Shiloh Gloyn, Ella Gunson, Megan Hull, Kate Ivory, Alia Jaques, Tessa Jopp, Rose Keddell, Olivia Merry, Stacey Michelsen, Brooke Neal, Grace O’Hanlon, Kirsten Pearce, Brooke Roberts, Deanna Ritchie, Sally Rutherford, Olivia Shannon, Kelsey Smith, Liz Thompson, Lulu Tuilotolava