The New Zealand Blackjacks and Australian Jackaroos preparations for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games will shift up a gear this week, with the two teams set to clash at the 2017 Trans-Tasman Test Series on the Broadbeach, Queensland greens from Wednesday.
With just under a year until the delivery of the first bowl at GC2018, this years Trans-Tasman competition boasts added impetus, with selectors set to cast a keen eye over the entire field, which features development and para-sport teams in addition to the open categories for men and women.
Fifteen Blackjacks players will be rotated through the ten playing positions in the open mens and womens teams, providing a greater opportunity to determine the optimal combination for next years pinnacle event.
All ten members of New Zealands most successful World Bowls Championships last year including Gold Medalists Shannon McIlroy (Singles), Ali Forsyth, Mike Kernahgan, Mike Nagy and Blake Signal (Fours) and Jo Edwards, Val Smith, Angela Boyd, Katelyn Inch and Kirsten Edwards will return to the stage with the addition of Tony Grantham, Paul Girdler, Mandy Boyd, Tayla Bruce and Selina Goddard.
The Development squad is led by Youth Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist Ashleigh Jeffcoat and 2017s Under 21 Champions Natasha Russell in the women, and National Under 18 Mens Singles winner Seamus Curtin.
On the back of the World Blind Bowls Championships held earlier this year in South Africa, Silver medalists David Stallard and Sue Curran (Pairs) will front the Para-sport side for New Zealand.
There wont be any respite for either nation following the Trans-Tasman however, with both teams set to compete at the 2017 Gold Coast Multi-Nations event from June 3.
The New Zealand Blackjacks will be joined at the Multi-Nations event by two Australian teams, as well as Scotland, Malaysia, Hong Kong China, Wales and Canada, from June 3 to 7, in addition to an international para-sport component from June 4 to 7.
The 2017 Trans-Tasman will be staged at Broadbeach Bowls Club, Queensland from May 31 to June 2.
- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Bowls New Zealand