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Kiwi rowers return to international fray

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 14/06/2017

Former under-23 world champion Jackie Kiddle will contest the women's lightweight single. © Reuters Former under-23 world champion Jackie Kiddle will contest the women's lightweight single. A new-look New Zealand rowing team will make their first foray into international competition since last year's Rio Olympics this weekend in Poland.

The squad mixes proven talent with some rising stars, giving the up-and-comers a chance to shine in the absence of several Olympic and world champions, who are on sabbaticals or have retired.

Tom Murray and Jamie Hunter won't be contesting the men's pair due to injury, with Cameron Webster and Alex Kennedy set to take their place following the departure of the unbeatable Eric Murray and Hamish Bond.

In the single sculls, Robbie Manson will face Rio Olympic silver medallist Damir Martin (Croatia) and under-23 world champion Tim Ole Naske of Germany while Matt Dunham, part of the medal-winning men's lightweight four in last year's World Cup, will line up in the lightweight single sculls.

Sisters Kerri and Jackie Gowler will be facing each other in the women's pair, Kerri in the No.1 boat with fellow Olympian Grace Prendergast while Jackie will partner with newcomer Kirstyn Goodger.

Olympians Chris Harris and John Storey team up in the double sculls, facing fierce competition from a mix of competitors including Rio bronze medallists Kjetil Borch and Olaf Tufte (Norway).

Former under-23 world champion Jackie Kiddle will contest the women's lightweight single sculls in place of lightweight double sculls crewmate Zoe McBride, out with a forearm injury.

The men's and women's eights will be looking to continue impressive performances over the last year, when the men finished sixth in the Olympic final and the women fourth.

Caleb Shepherd retains his seat as cox for the men's crew while 23-year-old Sam Bosworth takes his place as cox of the women's crew.

After the regatta on Lake Malta in Poznan, the Kiwis will contest the Henley Royal Regatta on June 28-July 2, then travel to Lucerne in Switzerland for the third World Cup on July 7-9.

A final trial will be held in August to select crews for the world championships in the United States in September.

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