Tarrant to captain Black Sticks

Black Sticks defender Blair Tarrant (right) will wear the armband at the Hockey World Cup later...
Black Sticks defender Blair Tarrant (right) will wear the armband at the Hockey World Cup later this month. Photo: Getty Images
Southern defender Blair Tarrant has returned from injury and will captain the Black Sticks at the Men's Hockey World Cup in India later this month.

The team will be looking to build on the recent success at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, where the side claimed the silver medal.

Tarrant (28) missed the Games due to a back complaint, but the experienced campaigner (186 caps) will be hoping he can help his side get back on the podium.

Tarrant will be joined by Southern team-mates Hugo Inglis, Nick Ross and Kane Russell.

The Black Sticks finished seventh in 2014 and ninth in 2010.

The team leaves on November 14 and will play three matches against Malaysia before making its way on to India to start its World Cup campaign.

The Black Sticks' first game is against France on the November 30.

The other pool games are against the current Olympic champion, Argentina, and eighth ranked Spain.

The Black Sticks have not played Argentina since before their Rio 2016 campaign.

Jared Panchia is likely to bring up his 100th cap during the warm-up games against Malaysia.

The squad is an experienced one, featuring eight players with more than 100 appearances for their country.

The most experienced member of the squad is Shea McAleese, with 272 caps. He will be looking to add a world cup medal to his two Commonwealth Games medals.

Coach Darren Smith heads into his fourth world cup and first as coach. Smith competed in two world cups as a player, where his best finish was ninth in 2002. He was an assistant coach during the 2010 campaign.

All games will be played at India's Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar. The venue previously hosted to the 2014 Champions Trophy.

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