New Zealand has been ranked second in the Women’s Competition and fourth in the Men’s Competition for the 2006 Commonwealth Games. 

New Zealand men’s hockey coach Kevin Towns said it was positive that New Zealand’s ranking had shifted from 11th in the world to eighth, which equated to fourth in the Commonwealth. 

“We can feel confident of making the semi-finals” he said. 

Australia is likely to be in our pool and our goal will be to play them twice again as we did at the Manchester Commonwealth Games – and this time to go one better.” 

The New Zealand men won a silver medal at the 2002 Commonwealth Games, losing to Australia in the gold medal playoff. 

New Zealand women’s coach Ian Rutledge was also pleased with his side’s second ranking. The Black Sticks have risen to sixth in the world in the last 12 months. 

“Our goal will be to perform to our ranking and better,” he said. 

“We will have the opportunity to play several of the teams in our build up.” 

First up will be England and South Africa who New Zealand will meet at the Champions Challenge in Virginia Beach, USA, in July. 

Australia is unlikely to be in New Zealand’s pool at the Commonwealth Games. The New Zealand Women finished just out of the medals in fourth place at the 2002 Commonwealth Games. 

The Commonwealth Games rankings are: 

Men
1. Australia
2. Pakistan
3. India
4. New Zealand
5. England
6. Malaysia
7. South Africa
8. Canada
9. Scotland
10. Trinidad and Tobago
Reserves:
11. Wales 
12. Bangladesh 

Women
1. Australia
2. New Zealand
3. England
4. South Africa
5. India
6. Scotland
7. Canada
8. Nigeria
9. Malaysia
10. Barbados
Reserves:
11. Trinidad & Tobago and Wales (equal)