Hockey NZ

Blacksticks to play in Nelson

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The New Zealand men’s hockey team is coming to Nelson to play two test matches against Canada in early December.

The games were confirmed by Hockey New Zealand yesterday afternoon and will see the Blacksticks play on December 9 and 10 at Saxton Field, before heading to Christchurch for the third and fourth tests in the four match series.

It is the first time a full international hockey test will be played at Saxton Field and the first time the men’s side have played in Nelson since 1952.

That game was played at Trafalgar Park against India and featured Nelson player Fred (Ted) Gribble.

The Blacksticks women’s side played at Saxton Field in 2009 but it was against an Indian Invitational side and was not classed as a test match.

John Whiting from Hockey New Zealand says it’s nice to be able to give test matches to the regions and, in this case, they’ve been able to do it because of support from Nelson City Council. “Definitely over the past few years the smaller communities are the ones that really get behind it and we’re hoping that will be the case in Nelson with some big crowds.”

The two tests will start at 6pm and ticket prices will be released later this week.