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Kiwi shearers seek payback in tests against Welsh

MEDIA RELEASE - includes test team profiles, and photos attached

On behalf of Shearing Sports New Zealand

January 24, 2014

Kiwi shearers seek payback in tests against Welsh

The new hero of New Zealand shearing returns to the scene of an unusual big weekend test match win at the Rotorua A and P Show 12 months ago with a yearning for Kiwi payback against Wales on Sunday.

The show starts the four-match Elders Primary Wool series, in which the New Zealand team of Rowland Smith, 27, of Hastings, and Tony Coster, 46, of Rakaia, face Welshmen Gareth Daniel, 30, and Richard Jones, 25, intent on avenging a 3-1 defeat  in Wales last July.

It was at Rotorua last January that Smith capped a big weekend which set-up a remarkable post-Christmas phase of the 2012-2013 season, in which he won 14 finals in 11 weeks, including the Golden Shears and New Zealand Championships Open titles.

Having scored his first win of the season the previous weekend, and his second at Taihape the previous day, Smith won the Rotorua show’s Open final and as a late replacement spearheaded a Kiwi victory to start a series which left Wales still to win a shearing test in New Zealand.

Daniel and Jones, however, present the most likely combination to achieve a breakthrough, although up against a Kiwi duo with more than 100 open competition wins between them, Smith’s total of almost 50 including 10 wins in the UK and Coster having this season cracked the half-century milestone, his biggest wins being in national multi-breeds events.

Daniel won three senior finals in New Zealand in 2007, was third in the World Championships final in Wales three years later and had his biggest win last year in the Royal Welsh Show’s All Nations final, otherwise a regular happy hunting ground for New Zealand’s best.

Jones, who with Daniel achieved third in the World Championships teams event in Masterton in 2012, claimed what is thought to have been the first Open-class win by a Welsh shearer in New Zealand, at Reefton during last year’s tour, and in July won the Royal Welsh Open final.

The Welsh opened the seven-event Elders Primary Wool with victory over an invitation pair on lambs at the Tauranga show last Saturday, and were expecting, along with Smith and Coster, to be warning-up for the Rotorua showdown by competing at the Taihape showtomorrow (Saturday).

The other three tests are all at stand-along competitions, the Otago Shearing and Woolhandling Championships in Balclutha on February 8, the Southern Shears in Gore on February 15, and the Pahiatua Shears on February 23.

TEAM and management profiles follow:


Elders Primary Wool Shearing Series – 2014

Team Profiles

NEW ZEALAND

Rowland Smith, 27.

Well-known name on the shearing scene almost since his first Junior final in in 2002, the two-metres-tall Rowland Smith won Golden Shears Junior and Senior titles while based in Ruawai, Northland. In 7th Open-class season and now based in Hawke’s Bay is reigning Golden Shears and NZ open champion, and has won almost 50 Open titles. Including 10 in the UK where he first toured as national team member as NZ Open champion in 2011. In January 2011 he shore 562 ewes in World two-stand, eight-hour record with brother Doug.

Tony Coster, 46

From Rakaia, has more than 50 finals in over 20 years of Open shearing. New Zealand’s most successful multi-breeds shearer of recent years, with  successive  national series finals 2009-2011, representing NZ in three transtasman series.Won UK series selection with 2013 NZ Circuit title in Te Kuiti. Has won seven Canterbury Circuit/All-Breeds finals and 2 NZ Corriedale Championships titles in Christchurch, including both events in November, coming-back after breaking a wrist in the UK and missing last test at Corwen in Wales.

Management

The manager is Dean Te Huia, of Te Kuiti, who will be touring with wife Jo. They are parents of current World Record breaking shearers Stacey, Kerri-Jo and Hayden. Dean is a regional manager for industry training providers Tectra.

WALES

Gareth Daniel, 30

A Machynlleth farmer, was third to Kiwi shearers Cam Ferguson and David Fagan in 2010 World Championships in Wales, and fifth in Masterton in 2012, with best quality points in the final. Has performed well in New Zealand winning Rangitikei, Taumarunui and Apiti senior finals and being runner-up at Balclutha in 2007. Won Champion Shearer of Wales final in 2010 and was named British Wool Marketing Board Shearing Personality of the Year for 2013 after biggest Open win, the All Nations final at Royal Welsh Show last July.

Richard Jones, 25

While having won just a small number of competitions, represented Wales at the World Championships at the Golden Shears in Masterton last March, and with Gareth Daniel was third in the teams event.. Toured last season after winning 2012 Welsh Circuit, and won Reefton Show Open final, thought to be the first Open win by a Welsh shearer in New Zealand. Best previous wins in Wales were at Lampeter in 2011 and Three Counties in 2012, but had biggest win in Royal Welsh final last July. Has a best tally of 510 on lambs.

Management

The manager is John Davies, a Presteigne farmer who shore for Wales at four World Championships, including finishing fourth and scoring top quality marks in Perth in 1986. Was one of the first three Welsh shearers to achieve British Master Shearer status.

ENDS

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