Will the Prime Minister accept Sir David's challenge?

The challenges for a new Prime Minister are many and varied.

Over the last two weeks Bill English has negotiated a successful leadership campaign to succeed former Prime Minister John Key and a cabinet reshuffle, but now he faces a challenge of a unique kind.

Speaking with Jamie Mackay on NZME's The Country radio farming show yesterday, Sir David Fagan, the world's most decorated shearer and a member of the 2017 World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships' Organising Committee, laid an invitation at the new Prime Minister's feet.

"Our new Prime Minister, I know he can shear. I've seen him shear at Lumsden many, many years ago at the Full wool Champs. Now there is a challenge for you Jamie, to get our new Prime Minister to shear a sheep down there." Sir David said. But he didn't stop there.

"I tell you what, I've retired of course, so I don't compete any more but I'll come out of retirement if Bill English does and we'll shear one together."

Mackay didn't rate the PM's chances against the 12-time World Champion.

"I reckon you could shear left-handed against Bill and that might be an even competition. People would pay to see that," Jamie said.

"I've seen him shear, I think he would beat me left handed actually," Sir David replied.

And in case you need proof that "you can take the boy out of Dipton and put him in the top floor of the Beehive, but you can't take the Dipton out of the boy," take a look at the video footage below of Bill English (closest to the camera) shearing against Jamie Mackay earlier this year at the Southern Fieldays at Waimumu.
Watch this space for developments.

Listen to Sir David's full conversation on The Country yesterday by clicking here.


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