Strong AUS Test Match Teams Announced

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Bushrangers Logo.JPGAustralia Announces Strong Bushrangers Teams for the First Test Match in Wellington
The Bushrangers teams for the first 2016 Australia v New Zealand Test Match, to be held north of Wellington NZ, are a mixture of seasoned campaigners and developing talent. The three Test Match races will present athletes with complex sand-dune terrain challenges, similar to those in the 2013 NZ World Cup. Many team members have just completed a full week’s tough training in ACT, the second national training camp for the year held after the Easter 3 Day in Canberra. This has been good technical and physical preparation for the demands of the NZ races.

images-2Australia will be looking for a repeat performance of last year, where we took out the first round of the Test Match series in the sand dune terrain of Woodhill near Auckland. The Australian Junior Bushrangers have experience, with Sebastian O’Halloran (TAS) and Aston Key (VIC) participating in last year’s NZ training camp on similar terrain. In 2016, they will both take their place in the team alongside Aidan Dawson (NSW) and Lanita Steer (VIC) who were members of last year’s successful Junior Bushrangers. Lanita Steer is joined by her sister, Asha who placed a strong 3rd in the recent National Easter 3 Day Championships. Two Queenslanders, Simeon Burrill and Riley de Jong, made the Australian Junior Team and will both be keen to build on their performances. The junior team contains 4 debutants at this level, Toby Wilson (NSW), Ella Johnson (TAS), Rosie Dalheim (VIC) and the Queenslander Riley de Jong. All performed strongly at Easter and the national training camps. Joanna Maynard, the only WA representative in the team, was an impressive 8th at Easter, and with many years in the junior ranks to go, will gain valuable experience.


Natasha Key returns to international level

The Australian Senior team is strong with three podium places at Easter making the Tasman crossing; Leon Keely (VIC) 2nd, Natasha Key (VIC) 2nd and Anna Sheldon (QLD) 3rd will form the backbone of the team and offer great experience to the Junior Bushrangers at this level. They are joined by the experienced trio of Brodie Nankervis (TAS), Aislinn Prendergast (VIC) and Nicola Blatchford (NSW) who were of part of last year’s winning team. Todd Neve (VIC) and Michele Dawson (NSW) will play vital roles with Todd making a welcome return to international competition. Leon Keely’s strong international results last year and wide experience in various terrain, will be a valuable asset to the team while Michele Dawson’s strong transition to senior level competition will add to the team’s strength.

Only Anna Sheldon and Aislinn Prendergast competed in the 2013 World Cup in similar areas although nearly half the team have strong experience in this form of racing on the complex sand dune terrain. Last year, in the final test match in Victoria on home soil, Australia were narrowly defeated and will be keen to make amends with another round one victory in the series.


Brodie Nankervis


Leon Keely

Australian Senior Team

Nicola Blatchford (NSW)
Michele Dawson (NSW)
Natasha Key (VIC)
Aislinn Prendergast (VIC)
Anna Sheldon (QLD)

Leon Keely (VIC)
Brodie Nankervis (TAS)
Todd Neve (VIC)






Riley de Jong


Lanita Steer

Australian Junior Team

Rosie Dalheim (VIC)
Ella Johnson (TAS)
Joanna Maynard (WA)
Asha Steer (VIC)
Lanita Steer (VIC)

Simeon Burrill (QLD)
Aidan Dawson (NSW)
Riley de Jong (QLD)
Aston Key (VIC)
Sebastian O’Halloran (TAS)
Toby Wilson (NSW)