Wilson back in Black Sticks for first time since 2016

A two-time Olympian has returned to bolster the Black Sticks Men’s squad for next year.

Nick Wilson was included in the 25-man team, named yesterday, for the first time since the Rio Olympics in 2016.

He will help offset some of the experience lost in Arun Panchia, Marcus Child and Cory Bennett, a trio boasting more than 550 caps combined.

The South is well-represented with its usual contingent of Dunedin-schooled players.

Kane Russell, Hugo Inglis, Nick Ross and Blair Tarrant are all in the squad.

Uncapped trio Sam Hiha, Sean Findlay and Oliver MacIntyre have also been included.

Coach Darren Smith said the world had changed vastly since the team last played.

"Much has happened since we last took the field against Argentina on March 1.

"After the lockdown and subsequent delay in Tokyo Olympics we took the chance to reset the programme, connect with our up-and-coming talent and look over the squad that will take us to Tokyo and beyond.

"It gave the chance for all of us to look at the other aspects of our life and think about what is important heading into 2021."

The Central Falcons, who were victorious in the Premier Hockey League, have been rewarded with 10 of their team named in the national squad.

Falcons striker Jacob Smith was in outstanding form during the PHL, receiving the Archibald Trophy as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

Smith will be looking to continue his outstanding form in 2021 as he pushes for a place at his first Olympic Games.

Veteran striker Simon Child has made himself unavailable for the first part of 2021 as he continues to balance work, family and hockey commitments.

The squad will return to training in January as it builds for a season which features an Oceania Cup, the postponed Tokyo Olympics and the resumption of the second season of the FIH Hockey Pro League.

Black Sticks Squad

David Brydon, Dom Dixon, Steve Edwards, George Enersen, Sean Findlay, Leon 
Hayward, Sam Hiha, Hugo Inglis, Stephen Jenness, Sam Lane, Dane Lett, Oliver 
MacIntyre, Shea McAleese, George Muir, Dominic Newman, Jared Panchia, Brad 
Read, Nick Ross, Kane Russell, Aidan Sarikaya, Jacob Smith, Blair Tarrant, Dylan 
Thomas, Nick Wilson, Nic Woods.

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