19 Jul 2012 – The National Selectors have named the New Zealand National and Junior (Under-21) sides for the 2012 / 2013 season.
This was a much-anticipated announcement following the shock loss of the 2011/2 Men's team to the NZ Senior Men's side in the National Championships earlier in the month. The NZ Men had finished 5th at the World Men's Championship in Switzerland just 3 months earlier.
The Selectors though kept faith in the current side and left it unchanged. Kelsi Heath, a Youth Olympian in January, is the new face in the New Zealand Women's side. The National teams are:
|Men:||Peter de Boer (Auckland CC), Sean Becker (Ranfurly CC), Scott Becker (Ranfurly CC), Kenny Thomson (Auckland CC), Philip Dowling (Mt Ida CC). Warren Dobson (Mt Ida CC) recommended as non-travelling reserve|
|Women:||Bridget Becker (Ranfurly CC), Brydie Donald (Dunedin CC), Marisa Jones (Ranfurly CC), Kelsi Heath (Auckland CC), Thivya Jeyaranjan (Auckland CC)|
These teams will compete next at the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships on home ice in Naseby during November. A top-2 finish there will qualify a side for their respective 2013 World Championships where they can earn Olympic qualifying points. Peter de Boer's side have a very real chance of doing just that if they play to their potential in Naseby and earn the right to add to the points they secured in Switzerland.
There was plenty of opportunity for the country's aspiring young male curlers, with some of the previous year's team now being over 21. Brett Sargon and Garion Long from Auckland CC come into the Junior Men's side. The Junior Women are unchanged.
|Men:||Liam Dowling (Wedderburn CC), Willie Miller (Ranfurly CC), Brett Sargon (Auckland CC), Luke Steele (Ranfurly CC), Garion Long (Auckland CC)|
|Women:||Chelsea Farley, Thivya Jeyaranjan, Tessa Farley, Kelsi Heath, Eleanor Adviento (all Auckland CC)|
They will play at the Pacific-Asia Junior Curling Championships in Tokoro, Japan during January 2013. Pacific-Asia qualifies just one nation for the respective World Junior Championships, so only a gold medal in Japan will see a team progress to the World level.