The team, announced today at the national training centre at Lake Karapiro, includes 39 members with Robert Manson leading the way as the new men’s single sculler. With Drysdale taking the year off from international rowing, Manson grabbed the opportunity and put his name on the single sculling spot.

Manson is a veteran of two Olympic Games, most recently racing in the men’s double sculls at the Rio Olympics. Manson’s doubles partner, Chris Harris will remain in the double and is joined by John Storey.

Taking over the men’s pair from Bond and Murray is former Olympic lightweight rower James Hunter and Olympian from the men’s eight, Thomas Murray. Hunter hopes to increase from his lightweight weight of 72kg to over 80kg as he makes the transition to his new weight class.

Two-time World Champion in the lightweight women’s single, Zoe McBride has been teamed up with Jackie Kiddle to form the lightweight women’s double sculls. Last year at the Rio Olympics this boat was filled by Julia Edward and Sophie MacKenzie who finished fourth. Edward and MacKenzie are taking time off from rowing.

At the Rio Olympics New Zealand raced in both the men’s and women’s eights. These crews see a squad of ten chosen that will then get narrowed down nearer to the start of the season to the final selected eight. The men’s eight squad includes James Lassche who raced in the lightweight men’s four at Rio 2016. Rio coxswain, Caleb Shepherd remains in the same seat. Coming in to cox the women’s eight is Sam Bosworth. Bosworth won gold in the under-23 men’s coxed four at last year’s World Rowing Under 23 Championships. His ability to cox a women’s crew has been made possible since a new ruling following the 2017 FISA Extraordinary Congress, which allows either gender to cox a women’s or men’s crew.

The women’s pair sees the return to this boat by Kerri Gowler and Grace Prendergast. The duo took silver in this boat class at the 2015 World Rowing Championships and then raced at the Rio Olympics in the women’s eight.

In Rowing New Zealand’s media release, High Performance Director Alan Cotter said, “It’s an exciting squad with opportunities for new athletes and crews. We’ve set ourselves a very high standard and there are some big shoes to fill but I’m confident these athletes can take up the challenge.”

The team will head to Europe to contest World Rowing Cup II in Poznan, Poland in June. They will then compete at Great Britain’s Henley Royal Regatta before going to World Rowing Cup III in Lucerne, Switzerland. Rowing New Zealand will then hold further trials in August to pick the crews that will race at the 2017 World Rowing Championships in Sarasota-Bradenton, United States.

Rowing New Zealand 2017 elite squad

Women’s double sculls squad

Hannah Osborne
Olivia Loe
Brooke Donoghue  

Women’s pair
Kerri Gowler
Grace Prendergast

Lightweight women’s double sculls
Zoe McBride
Jackie Kiddle

Women’s eight Squad
Georgia Perry
Jackie Gowler
Emma Dyke
Lucy Spoors
Rebecca Scown
Kelsi Walters
Kelsey Bevan
Ruby Tew
Ashlee Rowe
Kirstyn Goodger
Sam Bosworth (coxswain)

Men’s single sculls
Robert Manson  

Lightweight men’s single sculls
Matthew Dunham  

Men’s pair
Tom Murray
James Hunter

Men’s double sculls
Chris Harris
John Storey

Men’s quadruple sculls
Lewis Hollows
Cameron Crampton
Nathan Flannery
Giacomo Thomas

Men’s eight squad
Drikus Conradie
Brook Robertson
Alex Kennedy
Cameron Webster
Isaac Grainger  
Shaun Kirkham  
Anthony Allen
James Lassche  
Patrick McInnes  
Stephen Jones  
Caleb Shepherd (coxswain)