Brendon Hartley set for 24 Hours Dubai debut to kick off 2017

Brendon Hartley is set for increased responsibility in 2017 with Mark Webber no longer involved in Porsche's FIA World ...

Brendon Hartley is set for increased responsibility in 2017 with Mark Webber no longer involved in Porsche's FIA World Endurance Championship bid.

GOOD SPORTS: Palmerston North's Brendon Hartley has added another endurance racing event to his 2017 calendar.

He will drive a Porsche 911 GT3 R in the Hankook 24 Hours of Dubai later this month, joining Daniel Allemann, Ralf Bohn and brothers Alfred and Robert Renauer.

It will kick off a busy year for the endurance specialist, which includes him taking over as the lead driver for Porsche in the FIA World Endurance Championship now that Australian Mark Webber has left the team.

He will be joined by regular co-driver Timo Bernhard and new recruit, Whanganui's Earl Bamber.

Two of Manawatu's outgoing schoolboy rugby talents have shunned an opportunity to play for the province one last time.

Former Feilding High School outside backs Vilimoni Koroi and Mosese Dawai have chosen not to be involved in the Manawatu sevens programme for the provincial and national sevens tournaments this month.

The pair have both signed to play for Otago, but their transfers are not effective until after the sevens campaign.

Both were involved with the Manawatu sevens programme last year, with Koroi playing a big role in the team at nationals.

The players were expected to link up with the squad following their Condor Sevens commitments in December.

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But word reaches the Manawatu Standard that both were advised not to communicate with the team by some of those helping map out their careers.

Royal Linton golfer Bruce Churchill may have set a world first on New Year's Day.

At 9.45am, he probably secured the first hole-in-one of the year anywhere on the planet when he slotted a 7 iron on the No 4 hole at Waipawa in central Hawke's Bay.

Since New Zealand sees the sun before anyone else, it seems unlikely anyone would have eclipsed that.

It was Churchill's second career hole-in-one.

Palmerston North Boys' High School's Phillip Turia is heading to the United States to play volleyball.

The teenager has picked up a full scholarship to play for Campbellsville University in Kentucky.

Turia, who is also a handy basketballer, was part of the New Zealand Junior Men's volleyball team in 2016.

 - Stuff

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