Manawatu trio picked for Aussie tournament

GEORGE HEAGNEY
Last updated 12:00 23/02/2012

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Three Manawatu players have been selected in the national under-14 boys' team to play at the junior international challenge in Sydney next month.

Tawhiri Richardson-Fielding, Nature Karatau-Te Kuru and Quentin Cunningham have been named in the team that will play against Australian state under-14 teams and teams from Japan.

The three boys are from the Huia club and play in the under-15 grade in Manawatu.

Cunningham and Richardson-Fielding are all-rounders who can pitch and bat.

The 13-year-old Cunningham is a big lad who can hit the ball a long way, Richardson-Fielding is a change up pitcher who deceives the batsmen, and Karatau-Te Kuru is a handy second baseman. The trio play Manawatu under-15s and 17s.

Manawatu Softball president Ray Dyason said the talented coaching staff would help them learn, and national selection was good for developing local players.

"Certainly a week's opportunity will do them a world of good," he said. "Getting them up so they're getting exposure to higher coaching, which exposes them to future softball honours and gets them out there in front of national coaches."

There are a number of talented and big athletic players in the team, which will help to build talent for future Black Sox players by exposing young New Zealand softballers to the international standard of play.

The team will leave New Zealand on March 17 for a four-day training camp in Sydney and warmup games, including a series against the Canberra under-15 boys' representative team in Canberra.

They will play the curtainraiser to an international between the Australian and Japanese women's teams.

The tournament starts on March 23 for three days and will be held at the high-class Blacktown Olympic Stadium, and should be an amazing experience for the young players.

New Zealand team: Josh Merritt (Wellington), Kalin Felise (Wellington), Tawhiri Richardson-Fielding (Manawatu), Quentin Cunningham (Manawatu), Sam Marley (Wellington), Bailey Tamati (Hawke's Bay), Adam Preston (Wellington), Nature Karatau-Te Kuru (Manawatu), Joshua Townley (Auckland), Bradley Rewa Rickit (Auckland), Jayden Stratford (Wellington), Sean Capewell (Counties), Marshall Layt-Maynard (Auckland), Zac Boyd (Wellington), Siona Gray (Wellington).

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- Manawatu Standard

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