Commonwealth Games: Returning medallist Tayla Ford headlines New Zealand wrestling squad for Birmingham

Tayla Ford.
Tayla Ford. Photo credit: Image - Photosport

Six wrestlers, including Glasgow 2014 bronze medallist Tayla Ford, will represent New Zealand at this year's Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

Ford, 28, will compete at her third Commonwealth Games, after also travelling to the Gold Coast in 2018.

"I'm just feeling an overwhelming amount of pride, happiness and excitement to have been named," said Ford. "I can't wait to get over there and showcase what I'm capable of. 

"I've been doing this for a long time now and have been honing my skills through coaching recently, so I'm feeling in great form."

Brahm Richards, 25, also returns for his second Commonwealth Games, after debuting at Gold Coast, and will head to Birmingham, after training with some of New Zealand's best in combat sport.

"I've been training at City Kickboxing for a few years and last year, I did lots of wrestling with UFC fighter Kai Kara-France, as he looked to improve his wrestling," he said.

"It was a pretty awesome experience, we both learnt a lot from it and I'll be putting some of those lessons into play, as I chase a medal in Birmingham."

Four newcomers will head to their first Games, with Cole Hawkins, Suraj Singh, Matthew Oxenham and Michelle Montague getting their first taste of the Commonwealth Games.

Historically, New Zealand has won 29 Commonwealth Games wrestling medals - three gold, nine silver and 17 bronze.

NZ wrestling squad: Tayla Ford, Cole Hawkins, Michelle Montague, Matthew Oxenham, Brahm Richards, Suraj Singh