15 Feb 2009

Lawson heads strong NZ line-up for Australian Open Bowls

9:14 am on 15 February 2009

The defending pairs champion Gary Lawson heads a strong New Zealand contingent to the Australian Open Bowls Champs in Shepparton, Victoria next week.

Lawson currently holds the Australian title along with the New Zealand Open title and the world bowls pairs title.

Following the Black Jacks' first training camp in Christchurch last week, national coach Dave Edwards announced New Zealand's has gained several automatic entries into the Australian Open draw who will play as official New Zealand representatives.

Lawson gains automatic entry because he is the defending champion, allowing Edwards to name Andrew Todd and Richard Girvan as a separate New Zealand team in the men's pairs draw.

They will be joined by Ali Forsyth in the triples, while Todd, Lawson and Ali Forsyth are all contesting the singles.

Runner-up in 2006, Jo Edwards, has an automatic entry in the women's singles, which includes double Commonwealth Games singles gold medallist, Siti Zalina, of Malaysia.

New Zealand squad members, Jo Babich and Mary Campbell, are in a similarly very strong women's pairs field, while Edwards, Babich and Campbell are automatic entries in the women's triples.