Paris Olympics: Dan Williamson, Phil Wilson rowing in slipstream of legendary Kiwi pair

The Kiwi men's pair is steeped in rowing history and now a new duo are determined to add to that reputation.

Dan Williamson and Phil Wilson have linked as a combination, and while time is very much against them for the Paris Olympics, they welcome the chance to be mentioned in the same breath as the greatest to do it.

Stepping into the shoes of two greats is enough to make anyone sweat.

Dan Williamson and Phil Wilson in training at Lake Karapiro.
Dan Williamson and Phil Wilson in training at Lake Karapiro. Photo credit: Photosport

"They're arguably the best to have ever done it in this boat and their world record still stands," Williamson told Newshub. "Not much else needs to be said about that, right?"

Sixty-nine consecutive wins, seven successive world championships, two gold medals... there's only one Hamish Bond and Eric Murray, but Williamson and Wilson are up for the challenge.

"They were just this amazing combination," said Wilson. "They jumped in the boat and were world champions.

"It was just a crazy, crazy campaign they had over the eight years."

Williamson and Wilson are the newest Kiwi pair, a boat they'll row at next month's World Cup and likely the Olympics, despite coming together less than two months ago, after a speed dating-like process.

"That is probably a good analogy for it," agreed Wilson. "Trials come around and you're switching who you're with every day."

The duo were also in the eight that shocked the world to win gold at Tokyo. Bond was also in that crew, which had get used to each other in a short timeframe too.

"It does sort of put the pressure on a little bit, but pressure makes diamonds, so it must be a good thing," said Wilson.

"Reminds me of university a bit, eh?" offered Williamson.

As they cram, they're leaning on Bond and Murray to pass on any notes. Kerri Williams, who won gold with Grace Prendergast in women's pair at Tokyo, is also a handy tutor.

"I think we're just really spoilt for choice, in terms of the people we have around us here in New Zealand, when it comes to the small boats," said Wilson. 

Another New Zealand pair may soon win Olympic gold.