The Aussie Steelers have selected 17 players to represent their country at an international tournament in New Zealand that will feature teams from around the globe.
The five-day Challenge Cup will include teams from Japan, Argentina, the Czech Republic, Samoa and New Zealand.
After the Challenge Cup, which will be held at Auckland’s Rosedale Park starting on 8 February, the Steelers team will be chosen to represent Australia at the 2017 Men’s Softball World Championship in Whitehorse, Canada.
It will be the first time the Canadian territory of Yukon has hosted a senior men’s event, although it has been the venue for three previous World Championships – the Junior Men’s in 2008 and 2014, as well as the 2012 Women’s.
The 10-day event is scheduled to begin on 7 July 2017. Participating teams are still to be determined, but the previous World Championship, held in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, included 15 teams.
The gold medal in 2015 was won by Canada, who defeated New Zealand 10-5 in the final. Venezuela claimed the bronze medal.
Aussie Steelers team for NZ Challenge Cup
James Brownlow (NSW) Tyson Duncan (WA) Jarryd Farrell (SA)
Shaun Goffer (QLD) Joel Goodall (VIC) Mark Harris (WA)
Julian Jemmott (QLD) Marshall Kronk (QLD) Hayden Mathews (NSW)
Ryan Merriman (QLD) Brendan O’Bryne (WA) Kieran O’Leary (NSW)
Liam O’Leary (NSW) Harrison Peters (NSW) Tyrell Priestly (QLD)
Ryan Sinclair (VIC) Lewis Weldon (VIC)
Head coach: Laing Harrow