Black Stick Hopping retires from internationals

Last updated 11:31 16/01/2013
Blair Hopping
Getty Images
STRONG SHOWING: Blair Hopping in action for the Black Sticks at the London Olympics.

Relevant offers

Other Sports

Kiwi John Holdzkom compared to MLB royalty Burling and Tuke in control at world champs Rising star Walsh happy to return to day job Triathlete Kyle Smith aiming for 2015 worlds Road to Rio starts today for women cyclists Cambridge set for 1st international track meet Athletics NZ thrown a bonus with new coach Orioles, Nationals book places in MLB playoffs UFC fight 'a clash of World War II battleships' NFL players' union appeals Ray Rice suspension

Black Stick Blair Hopping has announced his retirement after 13 years of international hockey.

The 32-year-old said although he will miss test hockey and the opportunities it brings, he is looking forward to spending less time on the turf and more time with his young family.

"Although I still love playing test matches, I have been struggling to motivate myself at trainings and for me that was a sign it was time to retire," says Hopping.

"I have to admit it was quite nice coming home after work last night and spending time with my family, rather than rushing to training," says Hopping who lives in Kumeu with his wife and their nine-month old son.

The defender is one of four players in New Zealand's history to have played more than 250 games, retiring from the international circuit with 264 caps.

He has attended two Commonwealth Games (Manchester and Melbourne), three World Cups (Malaysia, Germany and India) and three Olympics (Athens, Beijing and London).

Hopping's highlight was collecting a silver medal at the Manchester Commonwealth Games, in particular the semi-final where New Zealand beat Pakistan for the first time ever.

"The score was 7-1 and it was one of those games when everything just went right, it would be the best game I have ever played in.

"It was also amazing to play at Athens - it is the home of the Olympics, plus it was my first Olympic experience so that made it pretty special."

In between work and family, Hopping will follow the team closely and is hoping to get along to watch the side in any upcoming home tests.

"I'm not the greatest at watching games. I won't be standing on the side line quietly that's for sure. There will be a bit of yelling advice and encouragement to the boys."

Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Special offers
Opinion poll

Should Oscar Pistorius be allowed to compete again?

Absolutely. Running is his job.

Only if he receives a suspended sentence.

No way. His days as a runner are over.

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content