Gemma McCaw makes inspiring return to hockey less than a year after birth of baby Charlotte

Former Black Sticks striker Gemma McCaw is making an inspirational comeback to hockey, less than a year after giving birth to her first child.

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The former hockey international is playing in the national league pre-season and could add to her 200-plus caps for the Black Sticks. Source: 1 NEWS

McCaw commuted from Christchurch to play in the top national hockey league yesterday for her home region of Midlands, just eight months after welcoming baby Charlotte to the world.

"I’m a bit rusty… but I’m not going to be too hard on myself at this stage," McCaw told 1 NEWS.

"I’m loving just the opportunity to run around again. I try and not look over on the sidelines too much and stay focused."

There are some distractions in the stands though, with husband Richie and their daughter watching her comeback.

The former All Blacks captain told 1 NEWS her return to the game was inspirational.

"You’ve got to take your hat off to any mum that. I guess, experiences being a mum and then gets back into running around and dealing with the day-to-day," he said.

"She’s done well to get back and playing some games."

It's been three years since fans have seen the former Black Stick previously known as Gemma Flynn carve up on the hockey field. The 29-year-old officially retired from the international game in October 2017 but like many Kiwi sporting mums, a comeback to the world stage can never be dismissed.

"You can never rule it out," McCaw said.

"Never say never!"