New Zealand heads to Europe to prepare for World Championship

The New Zealand Men's curling team leave for Europe this Friday (23 March) to prepare for their first World Championship since 2005. Olympic qualification points for Sochi 2014 will also be at stake at the Championship starting at the end of the month.

They will train at in Glasgow and Perth, Scotland ahead of the tournament in Switzerland a week later. A number of warm-up games are on the itinerary, and their sparring partners will include teams led by former World Champions Hammy McMillan and David Smith.

New Zealand skip Peter de Boer is under no illusion of what lies ahead for his side.

"Of the 12 teams playing we are ranked the lowest at 17, and with the other teams taking the top 11 spots we're up against it," he said. "However we had a good training session in Naseby last weekend, the guys were in good shape and throwing well so we are all looking forward to the challenge!"

"Our first goal is to play as well as we can and do ourselves justice," he continued. "In doing that I think we will surprise a few teams and a finish in the middle of the pack would be a great achievement, picking up some valuable Olympic qualification points along the way."

The team qualified for this World Championship when they won silver at last year's Pacific-Asia Championship. The Men's World Championship starts in Basel, Switzerland on 31 March and runs through to 8 April. New Zealand face Scotland first up on the opening day.

Information courtesy of the New Zealand Curling Association
All New Zealand related content will be on the NZ Curling Association's event blog: www.curling.org.nz/index.php/2012-wmcc

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