Judge Grant Bradfield (centre) oversees shearers Gareth
Daniel (left, Wales) and Rowland Smith (New Zealand) during
the Elders Primary Wool series test in Balclutha on
Saturday. Photo by Helena de Reus.
Competing in New Zealand is a chance for Welsh shearers
to learn from the best.
Welsh shearing team manager John Davies is touring the
country with shearers Gareth Daniel and Richard Jones to
contest the four-test Elders Primary Wool series between New
Zealand and Wales. The series reached Balclutha at the
''New Zealand have the best sheep shearers in the world, so
it's good to learn from them and compete against the best.''
Mr Davies said most shearers in Wales were farmers rather
than full-time shearers, but competitive shearing in Wales is
flourishing as interest in the sport continues to grow.
''It's looking like a bright future for shearing in Wales ...
we also have Welsh shearers competing at junior level in New
He represented Wales at four world championships, including
finishing fourth and scoring top quality marks in Perth in
He was also one of the first three Welsh shearers to achieve
British Master Shearer status.
Mr Davies manages the Welsh team - Daniel and Jones - who
face Rowland Smith (Hastings) and Tony Coster (Rakaia) in the
four-test Elders Primary Wool series between New Zealand and
Daniel won three senior finals in New Zealand in 2007, was
third in the world championships final in Wales three years
later and had his biggest win last year in the Royal Welsh
Show's All Nations final, otherwise a regular hunting ground
for New Zealand's best.
Jones, who with Daniel achieved third in the world
championships teams event in Masterton in 2012, claimed what
is thought to have been the first open-class win by a Welsh
shearer in New Zealand, at Reefton during last year's tour,
and in July won the Royal Welsh open final.
Smith (27) is the reigning Golden Shears and New Zealand open
champion and has won nearly 50 open titles, while Coster (46)
has been in more than 50 finals during more than 20 years of
The series began in Rotorua last month, with the Kiwis taking
the first win, and also the second in Balclutha at the
weekend by 10 points - 148.790 to 158.748.
The remaining two tests are at the Southern Shears in Gore on
Saturday, and the Pahiatua Shears near Palmerston North on
February 23. The tour also includes Welsh clashes against
provincial invitational teams.