The only downside of Tai Wynyard’s invitation to attend the Jordan Brand Classic in New York next week is that he has been forced to withdraw from the New Zealand Under 18 team.
The Under 18’s are contesting the Australian State Championships in Canberra at the same time as Wynyard will be in the US. The Dave Mackay coached U18’s have been dealt a couple of body blows in the lead up to the trip to the Australian capital. Giant Otago centre Sam Timmins has picked up a back injury and Auckland forward Kane Kell was forced to pull out for personal reasons.
The withdrawal of the ‘Twin Towers’ Timmins and Wynyard will be the biggest blows to the team. Both players stand over 2 metres tall and would have troubled the Australians with their size and power. Coach Mackay will now have to play ‘small ball’ as he drafts other players into his squad and prepare for the opening game on Thursday morning against the powerful Victorian Country squad.
Meanwhile Wynyard will be preparing to head to New York to undertake some hand shaking with Michael Jordan.