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'I'd regret it for the rest of my life' - Black Sticks legends open up on international comebacks

Having ended their international retirements to return to the Black Sticks fold, Kayla Whitelock and Gemma McCaw took the field to train with their teammates once again.

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Kayla Whitelock and Gemma McCaw turned out with their teammates for the first time today. Source: 1 NEWS

After confirming their playing returns last week, Whitelock and McCaw were included in coach Graham Shaw's 25-strong national squad for the upcoming 12 months, including the Tokyo Olympics starting in July.

The pair both relished their first taste of a black dress in over three years, speaking to 1 NEWS in their first television interviews since their returns.

"[It's] crazy, I never guessed I would be in this position again," Whitelock said.

"I'm loving it.

"What if I said no and I'd regret it for the rest of my life?"

McCaw agreed. 

"I hadn't quite shut the door, so a little part of me had the dream to go to the Olympics and win a medal," she added.

Former captain Whitelock and fellow teammate McCaw both called time on their Black Sticks ambitions after the 2016 Rio de Janiero Olympic Games - both starting families in the years since.

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The duo have returned to the international fold ahead of Tokyo 2020. Source: 1 NEWS

With McCaw based in Christchurch and Whitelock based in Palmerston North, the decision to move north to the Black Sticks' Auckland base in January wasn't easy - both supported by their ex-All Black husbands and families.

"My mum's taking the year off to look after the kids, to help out," Whitelock continued. "We're on a dairy farm, so it makes it a little bit hard with [husband] George in the morning."

With hockey's Pro League returning before the Olympics, 2020 will be a tough year both on and off the field for the mothers.

Undaunted, though, Whitelock and McCaw know that come Tokyo, they can go one better than the heartbreak of Rio.

"If we're going to tell our kids to dream big...we need to do it ourselves," McCaw said.