Over the past two years New Zealand’s best polocrosse players have been attending national trials and playing in international test matches in attempt to impress the world cup selectors. At the conclusion of the final trials weekend held in December the New Zealand Polocrosse World Cup team was announced. The team consisting of Jemma Murray, Beth Peaker, Kyla Hill, Mirren Tye, Beau Moore, Jarrod Richardson, Russell Tye and Jason White will be travelling to Warwick Queensland, Australia in April to take on 7 other world cup qualifiers being Australia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa, United Kingdom, Ireland and the USA.
New Zealand Polocrosse have qualified and participated in all the Polocrosse World Cup events since it’s inaugural event held in 2003. Occurring every 4 years the World Cup has been held in three different nations, Australia (2003, 2007), United Kingdom (2011) and South Africa (2015). New Zealand are looking forward to the World Cup returning to Australia as the timing falls at the conclusion of our season and therefore players skills are sharp and their playing fitness is at it’s peak. Previous results also show that we do well when we are in Australia, in 2003 New Zealand came second, 2007 fourth and in 2011 and 2015 we came in at fifth.
International Polocrosse is challenging for players as it is an amateur sport and with no finances to transport horses, players are required to play on horses provided by the host country. Each country are allocated a pool of horses that the team all ride in the week leading up to the competition to enable the players and coach to select horse/rider combinations to best benefit the team.
The teams coach, Shane Hill has prepared a meticulous preparation for the team involving fitness tests, skills training and several feature matches against President teams at several Polocrosse Tournaments being held in January, February and March. Additionally, the team will have two test series against Australia, the first being held in Ballarat, Australia and the second being held in Auckland at Abderry, Pukekohe on the 16th and 17th of March.