The New Zealand Open Men’s side to play Australia in the five-match Trans-Tasman International series this September was announced at the Senior Provincial Championships presentation dinner in Palmerston North this past weekend. The tournament serves as a precursor for the selection of New Zealand teams.
The team announced was as follows:
|Victor Davies (Captain)||Auckland|
|Michael Dodunski||Northern Districts|
|Corey Perrett||Southern Districts|
|Carl Hooper (Debut)||Canterbury|
|Dion Joll (Debut)||Northern Districts|
|Coach: Leigh Kelly||Wellington|
|Assistant Coach: Jon Routhan||Southern Districts|
|Manager: Tony Watkins||Southern Districts|
The Open Men’s team last faced off against Australia in a bilateral series at Port Macquarie, New South Wales in 2016. They finished runners-up to the Australians at the 2017 World Cup in the UAE. This series will mark the first time the teams have met since then.
Seven members from the team that won the New Zealand-Asia Cup in Singapore this past April have been retained. This includes skipper Victor Davies, Michael Dodunski, Corey Perrett, Bryce Fellows, Mitchell Gardner, Braden Gardner and Ben Saunders.
There were recalls for Stacy Hyndman, who last played at the 2014 World Cup in New Zealand, and Kieran Butler, who last featured at the 2017 World Cup in the UAE.
Carl Hooper and Dion Joll will both make their Open Men’s debuts in this series, having previously played at Under-22 level.
The series takes place at the Palmerston North Indoor Sports Arena in Palmerston North from 12-14 September. The team will assemble in camp from 8 September to prepare for the series.