Jopp keeps spot in Black Sticks

Otago defender Tessa Jopp has kept her place in the Black Sticks for the Women’s World Cup in July.

Jopp, a late call-up to the New Zealand team that reached the quarterfinals at the Tokyo Olympics last year, was named in a 20-strong squad yesterday. The 26-year-old Maniototo farmer will seek to add to her 31 caps.

The Black Sticks play England, India and China in the group stages at the World Cup, which is co-hosted by the Netherlands and Spain.

Before it starts, they will play three games against Spain and one each against the Netherlands and Chile.

Interim head coach Darren Smith, along with the selection panel, chose the 20 players after evaluating performances in the recent North-South and transtasman series.

"This is an exciting time for our women’s programme with quite a young team," Smith said.

‘It’ll be fantastic to give these players an early opportunity to test themselves at a pinnacle event against the best in the world.

"There will be some real tests, but I have a lot of belief in our young group to give some cracking performances and stamp their mark at international level."

The squad selection also highlights the remarkable return of Aniwaka Haumaha (nee Roberts).

Haumaha, who was unavailable for selection camps this year due to her wedding, had not played for the Black Sticks in seven years before appearing in the transtasman series.

Now a mother of two, she impressed selectors against Australia and will get the opportunity to add to her 71 caps .


Black Sticks women

The squad:  
Kaitlin Cotter, Anna Crowley, Tarryn Davey, Frances Davies, Stephanie Dickins, Katie Doar, Aniwaka Haumaha, Megan Hull, Alia Jaques, Tessa Jopp, Tyler Lench,  Alex Lukin, Olivia Merry, Grace O’Hanlon, Hope Ralph, Brooke Roberts, Olivia Shannon, Rose Tynan. Reserves: Madi Doar, Ella Hyatt-Brown.


--  Staff Reporter

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