The two men's fours that will race Worl' />

A New Zealand men's rowing eight will compete at the Henley Royal Regatta for the first time in 30 years.

The two men's fours that will race World Cup regattas in Europe over the middle of the year will join forces at the prestigious event to take on a field that is likely to include the medal-winning Great Britain men's eight.

The rowers named in the boat for the June30-July 4 regatta are Jade Uru, Hamish Burson, Ben Hammond, Tyson Williams, Shaun O'Neill, David Eade, Ian Seymour and Michael Arms.

The rowing eight remains at the heart of the sport in New Zealand after the history-making wins at the 1972 Olympic Games and the 1982 and 1983 World Championships.

The huge success enjoyed in small boats by the rowing squad in recent years has meant it has not been a priority boat although it has never been too far away from the minds of coaches and selectors according to New Zealand Rowing high performance manager Alan Cotter.

"We do have a love affair with the eight; it is the fastest boat of all and has delivered some of the most memorable moments in New Zealand sporting history," Cotter said.

"This year we have two promising young fours heading to Europe made up mainly of our crop of under-23 world champions and our racing schedule includes Henley Royal Regatta.

"The Henley Stewards have been very generous in supporting both our trip to the regatta in 2009 and this year and with a bigger squad, we wanted to pay back some of that support and have a crack at a couple more events. "

New Zealand has never won the Grand Challenge Cup, contested for by eights at Henley since 1839.

The Cup has been won by foreign crews 45 times - including 12 times by crews from Germany, 11 from the US and nine from the former USSR.

The race will have special significance for Cotter, who coxed the last New Zealand men's eight to compete at Henley, in 1980 when they lost in the final to the United States.

Last year New Zealand dominted several small boat events at the regatta with Mahe Drysdale, Emma Twigg, Eric Murray and Hamish Bond (pair) and Nathan Cohen and Matthew Trott (double sculls) all securing titles.

This year Drysdale and Duncan Grant will again race the single sculls and Twigg the women's single. Bond and Murray will defend their title, while Cohen and new partner Joseph Sullivan will defend the double sculls title.

The new men's quad will race, marking a return to Henley for the first time in a decade, as will two women's quadruple sculls and the two men's fours.

It will be easily the largest contingent of New Zealand rowers to grace the regatta.

- NZPA