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NZ bowls squad named for Games 'trials'

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 2/04/2017

Bowls New Zealand selectors have named extended men's and women's squads to compete at events on the Gold Coast as they start to plan their Commonwealth Games campaign.

Eight women and seven men will contest the annual Trans-Tasman tournament, followed by an eight-nation event. Both are in June at the the Broadbeach Bowling Club, the venue for the Games next April.

Selectors Sharon Sims and Peter Belliss have retained the 10 players who competed at last year's world championships in Christchurch but added others who are considered strong Games contenders.

Proven pair Tony Grantham and Paul Girdler join the men while national women's singles champion Selina Goddard, Tayla Bruce and Mandy Boyd join the women.

Boyd returns to the squad after originally being named in the world championships team but then withdrawing for personal reasons.

Sims says combinations will be mixed and matched over both events.

"In taking the full Blackjacks squad everyone has a chance to stake their claim," Sims said.

"It really is a great opportunity to see if the excellent foundations laid in Christchurch have continued to be built on.

"We have to get down to five men and five women for the Games and already we know as selectors it won't be easy."

Blackjacks:

Women - Angela Boyd, Mandy Boyd, Tayla Bruce, Selina Goddard, Jo Edwards, Kirsten Edwards, Katelyn Inch, Val Smith.

Men - Ali Forsyth, Paul Girdler, Tony Grantham, Mike Kernaghan, Shannon McIlroy, Mike Nagy, Blake Signal.

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