17 Jan 2017

New Blackjacks squad named

2:46 pm on 17 January 2017

Five returning Blackjacks have been named in the new 15-person New Zealand bowls team that will remain in place until after the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

New Zealand bowls representative Selina Goddard returns to the Blackjacks squad.

New Zealand bowls representative Selina Goddard returns to the Blackjacks squad. Photo: Photosport

The squad is the first named by the new selection panel of Sharon Sims and Peter Belliss, following the departure of long-time coach Dave Edwards.

The experienced international players Tony Grantham and Paul Girdler have been added to the men's team, with the duo able to fill any position within the combinations selected to play.

The national singles champion Selina Goddard has been named to re-join the women's team, alongside Tayla Bruce and Mandy Boyd who've also both got international caps to their names.

Sims said New Zealand's success at the recent World Championships in Christchurch heavily influenced the team selection.

"Given that every one of the team medalled at World Bowls 2016 and we have five current World Champions, the selectors felt it appropriate to largely retain the existing squad," Sims said.

"While this is our current squad for the upcoming camps and events the door is far from shut.

"We saw some performances at the recent Heartland Bank Open in New Plymouth that shows there are several players knocking at that door and if their form continues to demand selection then changes will be made."

The squad will remain in place until the end of June 2018, with two Trans-Tasman test series and the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast included in that period.

The full Blackjacks squad:


Jo Edwards

Val Smith

Kirsten Edwards

Katelyn Inch

Angela Boyd

Selina Goddard

Tayla Bruce

Mandy Boyd


Shannon McIlroy

Ali Forsyth

Blake Signal

Mike Kernaghan

Mike Nagy

Tony Grantham

Paul Girdler