Otago trio in Black Sticks

The Black Sticks men pose for a group photo during the New Zealand 2022 Commonwealth Games men's...
The Black Sticks men pose for a group photo during the New Zealand 2022 Commonwealth Games men's hockey team announcement at the National Hockey Centre in Auckland yesterday. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES
Otago trio Kane Russell, Blair Tarrant and Hugo Inglis have been named in the men’s Black Sticks team for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games squad.

That will not come as a shock to anyone.

The experienced trio have combined for more than 600 appearances for the national side. But they have not been spotted in a black shirt for the past six months.

They have been busy playing top level hockey in Europe. But the three men have been playing hockey together for more than 20 years. They grew up in Dunedin and honed their skills in Otago age group teams.

Tarrant said the opportunity to play international hockey never got old, no matter how many games you play.

“It’s always an honour to go out and represent your country — you never take it for granted.’’ he said.

“We are fizzing to be heading to Birmingham. As a group we have been working hard towards this goal.

‘‘We have a fresh and exciting squad ready to represent New Zealand with pride at the Games.”

The trio are part of an 18-strong squad.

The Games will see the Gold Coast silver medallists take on Australia, South Africa, Pakistan and Scotland in the group stages.

The Games will be coach Greg Nicol’s first major competition in charge of the national side.

“We have a strong group of players filled with determination, ready to have a crack at ending Australia’s 24-year grip on the gold medal,’’ he said.

‘‘We are also excited about bringing an attractive style of hockey to the Games and giving Kiwis another reason to cheer.”

The men's hockey at Birmingham 2022 will begin on July 29th, with matches to be held at the University of Birmingham.

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter