Wool Processing

Aussie shearers and wool handlers ready for trans-Tasman tests

Sheep Central, February 26, 2024

AUSTRALIA’S top shearers and wool handlers are set for another fight against their New Zealand counterparts in the next round of trans-Tasman tests at the Golden Shears in Masterton next week.

Sports Shear Australia immediate past president Tom Kelly said Australia had a strong shearing and wool handling team.

He said the Australian machine shearing team of new national open champion Nathan Meaney, New South Wales title holder Daniel McIntyre and Victorian open champion Josh Bone had come through a strong pathway to make the team.

“They are a lot more prepared than they ever used to be.

“It’s always hard on the Kiwi’s home turf with their sheep, but our pathway means we are sending our three best shearers, I’m quite sure of that.”

The machine shearing trans-Tasman test will take place on Friday 1 March between 6.30-9.30pm New Zealand time and the wool handling test will be held on 2 March in the same evening timeslot. Click here to subscribe for the livestream.

The last trans-Tasman machine shearing test at Jamestown in South Australia was won by the trio of McIntyre, Meaney and Victorian Sam Mackrill with an 18.13 point margin.

At Masterton, the McIntyre and Meaney will be joined by new Victorian open champion Josh Bone, in the national team for the first time.

Australia has won 16 machine shearing tests and New Zealand 5 in the 13 years since New Zealand’s last win in Australia at the national titles in Bendigo in 2022. Of the 70 tests since the series was founded in 1974, Australia has won 38 and New Zealand 32.

Australia’s Jamestown wool handling team of Mark Purcell and Jayne Griffin went down to Cushla Abraham and new team member Tia Potae in their test, but the 2024 team of new national open champion Alexander Schoff from Queensland and runner-up Marlene Whittle from Victoria, will be looking to make a good showing in their first trans-Tasman appearance. New Zealand has won 36 of the 47 tests since wool handling became a part of the series in 1998.

Mr Kelly said Australia’s wool handling pair will be on a bit of a learning curve, dealing with the New Zealand second shear crossbred wool and the NZ preparation standards. Alexander has been in the country for weeks as part of an ambassador training program and competing at shows in the lead up to the Golden Shears.

Alexander’s sister Grace is also part of the ambassador program and she had some success in winning the junior shearing at the Gore Southern Shears in New Zealand earlier this month. Other Australian ambassadors who have recent success while competing in NZ events, include South Australian novice wool handler Caitlin Mitchell from Eudunda who won at Rangitikei on 3 February and intermediate shearer Dannielle Mauger from Mullalyup, West Australia, who beat the NZ field at the Taumarunui Shears shearing and woolhandling championships last Friday.

Australia’s blade shearing team of John Dalla and Andrew Murray won’t compete at the Golden Shears, but will context their next trans-Tasman test at Waimate in New Zealand in October.



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