Australian Matt Willoughby has tested the waters at the Downer New Zealand Masters Games' lawn bowls in Whanganui after debuting in swimming only on debut two years back.

The 77-year-old retired mechanical engineer from Newcastle, NSW, won silver in swimming at his first attempt at masters competition in 2017, but decided to broaden his horizons at the 30th anniversary version this time round.

"I put my name down as a spare in the lawn bowls and got called up for the mixed fours," Willoughby said.

"I retired at 72 and took up bowls back home, so I play a little bit. I have entered the swimming again and that doesn't start until 6pm, so I entered some other sports. I'm playing in the tennis B singles on Friday, the twilight 400 on Thursday and on Monday I entered the indoor rowing, but I didn't do too well.

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"I did win silver in my age group in swimming two years ago and I'm a sprinter, not a stayer. I have a friend in Tauranga who is picking me up from here. He doesn't compete, but he does like bending the elbow quite a bit and I don't mind a drop myself. No doubt we'll get up to no good," Willoughby said.