Nick Willis is extolling the virtues of group training for his fellow middle distance runners as they vie for spots at the Rio Olympics.

While the Beijing 1500m silver medallist is already confirmed to head to the Games, he's been training with three others vying for a potential two further spots for New Zealand.

Julian Matthews and Hamish Carson have both met at least the B Standard for selection, with Eric Speakman knocking on the door.

He says you can feel the tension in the air as while they are helping each other they are also wanting to beat each other.

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The final athletics selections will be made in July.