Black Sticks women's legends Whitelock, McCaw return to national fold

One of New Zealand sport's most highly anticipated returns has taken place this afternoon, with Kayla Whitelock and Gemma McCaw donning the black dress once again.

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The pair took on India in practice after coming out of retirement. Source: 1 NEWS

Having initially called time on their respective careers after the Rio Olympics four years ago, both Whitelock and McCaw were back in action in Auckland today, taking on India in practice games at the new National Hockey Centre.

"It's crazy, it's unreal," Whitelock told 1 NEWS.

"I mean the family's up here they're all excited too so yeah it's all go."

This weekend will see the duo back into the Black Sticks women's side officially, named to play in the double header against Belgium in the first round of the Pro League Series.

The Black Sticks men are the second half of that double header, also up against the world champions Belgium, this afternoon taking them on a quick excursion around Auckland.

"Hopefully they're enjoying New Zealand itself, but hopefully they don't enjoy the weekend too much," captain Blair Tarrant says.

Last year the Black Sticks men held Belgium to a 4-4 draw, this time they want to go one better as they prepare for their Tokyo 2020 tilt.

"We've got a certain amount of games this year to prepare for Tokyo.

"You don't get the opportunity to prepare for Tokyo and you don't get the opportunity to play Belgium before a big event."