Bowls New Zealand has today announced the teams that will participate in November's Trans-Tasman series.
The event is being held on Australia's Gold Coast, and will be used as a rehearsal for the 2018 Commonwealth Games which are being held at the same venue.
With this in mind, selectors Sharon Sims and Peter Belliss have named an experienced squad including recent World Champions Shannon McIlroy, Ali Forsyth and Mike Kernaghan. The women's team also sees the return of 2014 Commonwealth Games Bronze Medalist, Mandy Boyd, who withdrew from the 2016-17 squad for personal reasons.
As a last opportunity for the team to showcase their worth for a Commonwealth Games call up, all players are expected to demonstrate some exceptional bowls.
A development team will also compete at Novembers Trans-Tasman. Rory Soden (North Harbour) will debut for the Development Men's team. The 23-year-old was named "Supreme Bowler of the year" at Bowls North Harbour's annual awards after a very successful season, including a National Title at Under 8's Intercentre. Cait Basset gets
another opportunity in the women's development team having missed the June Trans- Tasman.
On naming the team to travel to Australia, Sharon Sims said "This second Trans-Tasman Test Series for the year is the final opportunity for players to push for Commonwealth Games selection. Mandy's return restores some balance to the women's side, and the selection of Paul and Tony reflects the strong competition for positions, even with five current World Champions in the squad. In the Development the addition of Rory Soden is in recognition of his very strong performances for North Harbour in the Intercentre competitions. Playing Australia on home soil is always tough and we are looking forward to seeing who responds to that challenge."
• Shannon McIlroy (Nelson)
• Ali Forsyth (Nelson)
• Mike Kernaghan (Dunedin)
• Paul Girdler (Dunedin)
• Tony Grantham (North Harbour)
• Jo Edwards (Nelson)
• Val Smith (Nelson)
• Mandy Boyd (Christchurch)
• Katelyn Inch (Christchurch)
• Tayla Bruce (Christchurch)
• Rory Soden (North Harbour)
• Bradley Down (Wellington)
• Taylor Horn (Auckland)
• Aiden Takarua (Auckland)
• Seamus Curtin (Auckland)
• Cait Bassett (Christchurch)
• Natasha Russell (Wellington)
• Nicole Toomey (Wellington)
• Paris Baker (North Harbour)
• Ashleigh Jeffcoat (Waikato)
• Kimberley Hemingway (Wellington)
Also playing in this event will be a Para-Sport team. The selected players are;
• Mark Noble
• Barry Winks
• Bruce Wakefield
• David Stallard - Director Peter Blick
• Sue Curran - Director Ann Muir
Following the Trans- Tasman BPL06 returns to Pine Rivers, Australia from November 14-17th with the return of Ali Forsyth, Shannon McIlroy (BPL05's MVP) and Jo Edwards. The team will be looking to go a step further than earlier this year on the North Shore, to take out the $10,000 prize.