New Zealand teams have now won all three of the CP Wool International development teams shearing series matches against Wales.

The latest victory came at the Rangitikei Shearing Sports in Marton on Saturday, when New Zealand shearers Jack Fagan and Axle Reid claimed victory by a comfortable 11.94pts over the Wales development team of Llion Jones and Ceredig Lewis.

As at each of the matches, the Kiwi team comprised of highest-placed New Zealanders from the heats of the day's open championship, so long as they had not been formally selected in the past to represent New Zealand.

Llion Jones, Wales. Photo / SSNZ
Llion Jones, Wales. Photo / SSNZ

Fagan had worn the black singlet as a late replacement in Wales as the nearest New Zealander on-hand when official representative Rowland Smith became unavailable during a 2017 UK tour.

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While having won a Welsh open final, he has had just three open finals in New Zealand – the Wairarapa show and two Northland shows in the 2017-2018 season – he has also had a string of top Speed Shear wins.

Axle Reid, New Zealand. Photo / SSNZ
Axle Reid, New Zealand. Photo / SSNZ

Reid has not won an open final in New Zealand, but won a Golden Shears Open Invitation Encouragement event in 2018.

Six shearers have now been in Shearing Sports New Zealand development teams in the current series, including Hawke's Bay shearers Lachie Baynes and Paraki Puna winning the Wales tour opener at Wairoa on January 18 and Brett Roberts, of Mataura, and Jimmy Samuels, of Marton, wearing the singlet at Taihape a week later.

The remaining matches will be at the Aria Waitangi Day Sports Shearing and Woolhandling Championships on Thursday and the Franklin A and P Show's Counties Shears on February 16.

Ceredig Lewis, Wales. Photo / SSNZ
Ceredig Lewis, Wales. Photo / SSNZ

The Aria sports have an historic background in King Country dating back to a World War 1 patriotic fundraising sports day in 1916, but reports do not mention shearing as having been on the programme. It has however been a part for many years.

Competitors in the shearing and woolhandling start at 8.30am on Thursday, and supporters attending the Speed Shear on Wednesday night at the Aria Cosmopolitan Club could double the township's population of just over 200.

Jack Fagan, New Zealand. Photo / SSNZ
Jack Fagan, New Zealand. Photo / SSNZ

Competition convenor and Piopio contractor Mark Barrowcliffe, whose crews expect to be fully involved in the day as competitors or helpers, said the international development teams series is a "great initiative" by Shearing Sports New Zealand to encourage up-and-coming open class shearers.

Results from the Rangitikei Shearing Sports at Marton on Saturday, February 1, 2020:

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CP Wool International Series (15 lambs each): New Zealand Development (Jack Fagan 14min 25.51sec, 57.476pts; Axle Reid 16min 42.5sec, 62.725pts,) 120.201pts, beat Wales Development 131.741pts (Llion Jones 17min 1.39sec, 64.404pts; Ceredig Lewis 17min 4.08sec, 67.337pts) by 11.94pts.