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Sam Harrison dropped from Black Sticks squad

SIMON PLUMB
Last updated 11:39 22/11/2012
Samantha Harrison
LAWRENCE SMITH/FAIRFAX NZ
TOUGH TO TAKE: Sam Harrison has been dropped from the Black Sticks squad based on her form at the London Olympics.

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Olympian Sam Harrison has been dropped from the women's Black Sticks.

National women's hockey coach Mark Hager, who has transformed the team in the last four year's taking them from 11th to third in the world rankings, feels Harrison had a poor Olympic Games and is in need of a rest.

Harrison has accepted a role in the national development squad in an attempt to fight her way back into the senior fray.

The news emerged as Hager announced eight new faces in his 25-player squad for 2013.

After finishing fourth at London 2012, a new-look Black Sticks squad is preparing for a six-test series against India next month.

Eleven of the 16 players who represented New Zealand at this year's Olympics, including Gemma Flynn, Katie Glynn, Stacey Michelsen and Anita Punt, have all been renamed in the squad.

Kayla Sharland, Krystal Forgesson, Bianca Russell and Emily Naylor are on extended leave until early 2013 - allowing Hager to introduce new blood in eight uncapped players.

"We have been closely following the progress of all these young players. They have been performing well at national tournaments and have matured a lot as athletes," Hager said.

"We believe they are ready to take the step up."

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