NZ reps follow in their children's footsteps

Usually, children follow their dads into representative jumpers.

But for PJ Turnbull and Brett Haugh, it is a case of walking in the footsteps of their children.

The two men are in Australia as part of a New Zealand masters touch side to play Australia in three tests.

They are following in the footsteps of their children, Mackenzie and Taylor Haugh and Dayna Turnbull, who have all played touch for New Zealand.

Brett Haugh, who left for Australia yesterday, said the duo had always played touch and the children had followed them into the sport.

Both Mackenzie and Taylor Haugh had gone on to play for New Zealand. Mackenzie was named the most valuable player for the national mixed touch team last year and Taylor is in the Touch Blacks men's team.

Dayna is a key member of the Touch Blacks women's team.

Brett said it was a sport he had played for many years and his children had followed his passion.

''It just turned out that they got a bit better than us and went into the New Zealand team.

''We've played for years; always had a passion for the game and that, I suppose, has rubbed off on our kids.''

Turnbull (50) and Haugh (52) are part of the national masters over-50 team and are the only two from the South Island.

The Dunedin duo are part of a 14-man squad.

Touch at that level was still about quickness and speed of thought, Brett said.

The Australians played the whole year round and would be tough to beat.

The games will be played on the Sunshine Coast this weekend. They will be played at night and will be 20 minutes each half.

Otago Touch Association development officer Grant Milne said the association was extremely proud of Brett and PJ.

''They have combined to contribute 40 years of quality service to touch in Otago. Seeing these two achieve their playing ambitions is just reward for the amount of talented Otago juniors they have elevated to become New Zealand players,'' he said.

Also making the trip across the Tasman are four players in the New Zealand under-16 team.

Meg Sycamore is in her second year as a national touch representative, having played for the New Zealand under-15 mixed team in 2016.

She is joined by Maia Joseph, Annie Timu and Jasmine Hunter, who are all on debut.

Otago Touch keeps growing and has outdone itself in 2017. So far this year, it has had 22 players selected for New Zealand, along with three coaches and a manager.


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