In a little over two months, nations from all around the world will descend on the Broadbeach Bowls Club to contest the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Heading into the Games as hosts, much will be expected of our Jackaroos but there are several other extremely talented nations in their own right who will look to threaten the Aussies’ hopes of a gold rush this April.
Helping you get familiarised with some of these nations that are set to grace Australian shores will be our ‘Opposition Analysis’ series of articles.
Next on the radar are our friends from across the ditch, New Zealand.
The Kiwis will be looking to increase their medal tally from Glasgow where they picked up three medals at each level of the podium, headlined by veteran Jo Edwards taking out the Women’s Singles gold medal.
In a bid to further impact the medal tally on the Gold Coast, an experienced squad has been selected with seven of the ten members having tasted Games action previously.
He’s considered a local, but lawn bowls legend Paul Girlder is set to be New Zealand’s secret weapon in the @GC2018 Games. @broadbeachbulls @BowlsAustralia @BowlsNZ @heinkealex #9News pic.twitter.com/JjrEnfLg1r
— Nine News Gold Coast (@9NewsGoldCoast) February 1, 2018
Here is a breakdown of their squad:
The Star – Shannon McIlroy
The reigning world singles champion will hit the 2018 Games at the top of his game despite missing out on medals in his two previous appearances in Delhi and Glasgow. With a Multi -Nations singles win also under his belt, McIllroy has built a formidable recent CV and will be one to watch come April 5.
The Stalwart – Jo Edwards
The 47-year-old will contest her fourth Games on the Gold Coast in April, having won two gold medals from her previous three Games appearances to date. A pairs champion back in 2002 at Manchester and her aforementioned singles success in Glasgow, coupled with multiple medals at World Championships over the past decade will no doubt once again see her as one of the major contenders for gold.
The Young Gun – Tayla Bruce
A product of the Burnside Bowling Club, Bruce is leading the charge for the next-generation of New Zealand bowlers. Set to make Games debut at the age of just 22, she enjoyed a break-out 2017 with the NZ club singles title as well as being named sportswoman and young player of the year at the annual Canterbury awards.
Team New Zealand:
Image Caption: Jo Edwards – 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games Women’s Singles gold medalist