• John Paul Clarkin: Ready to take on Argentina

  • John Paul Clarkin: Ready to take on Argentina

John Paul Clarkin: Ready to take on Argentina
John Paul Clarkin: Ready to take on ArgentinaJohn Paul Clarkin: Ready to take on Argentina

John Paul Clarkin: Ready to take on Argentina

"It's always an honour to represent your country; I expect a fast, open game"

February 8, 2018
February 8, 2018
Saturday will be a great day for polo in New Zealand with the International Polo Day being played at Kihikihi Polo Club on Saturday. The highlight of the day will be the  six chukka international Test Match between New Zealand and Argentina. 

The local team will see renown international player John Paul Clarkin take to the field. Clarkin has played all over the world, particularly in England. In conversation with Pololine, the experienced player shared:

"It is always an honour to represent your country, especially as there are so few opportunities to do so. And to play the highest level possible is also a challenge of mine. I last played for New Zealand this day last year against England, which we narrowly won."

On his experience playing against Argentina: "I have played against two club Argentine teams that have played this day in New Zealand before. But this will be the first time we play against a nationally selected team, which is an amazing achievement for New Zealand polo and the Kihikihi Polo Club, being able to host an event that can attract the best teams in the world."

On the New Zealand polo season: "The season for us here in New Zealand starts in December and runs through to the end of March. But the bulk of the tougher tournaments are towards the end of January and February, including about five weeks of 18-goal polo, which is our high goal level. After this week in Kihikihi, which includes the test match, we have the NZ Open and also the National Tournament, called the Savile Cup, coming up shortly."

On the polo situation in New Zealand: "I think in New Zealand we now have a number of very good polo fields in the north of the country, including Mystery Creek Polo Club field, which is owned by my cousin Simon Keyte, Nina and myself. These fields have helped the quality of polo a lot, and also we are very lucky to have an amazing pool of horses bred for racing that anyone can acquire and retrain to polo. Of which some have gone on to play very good polo all around the world, including the Argentine Open, which is an amazing achievement for a country of so few polo players."

On his expectations on the upcoming match against Argentina: "I have no doubt that the young team that has come to represent Argentina will be a huge test and hopefully a great spectacle to play against. People all around the world love to watch the flare and natural ability that Argentine teams play, and New Zealand is no exception. I expect a fast, open game and a huge challenge for us. They are a young team, but undoubtedly on the way up in the polo world."

On the responsibility of being the highest rated player of his team: "The only responsibly I feel is to play as best I can, and hopefully that will inspire others to improve and aim to the top, and they can one day take over the reins."

NEW ZEALAND: Kit Brooks 5, Craig Wilson 6, Tom Hunt 6, John Paul Clarkin 7. Total: 24. Reserve: Glenn Sherriff. Manager/coach: Simon Keyte.
ARGENTINA: Juan Martín Zubía 7, Santiago Loza 6, Genaro Ringa 6, Paco O’Dwyer 6. Total: 25. Coach/reserve: Diego Braun.
Venue: Kihikihi Polo Club.
Kick off time: 3pm.