World No. 1 New Zealand revealed its 17-player roster to defend the world title at the XVI WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship, to be held from 13-23 June in Prague and Havlickuv Brod, Czech Republic. Head Coach Mark Sorenson has chosen 13 veterans from the 2017 world champion team in Whitehorse, Canada, where New Zealand claimed its seventh title with a spectacular come-from-behind victory over Australia.

Captain Nathan Nukunuku will be again the leader of the Black Sox, in his seventh World Championship appearance. The 38-year-old veteran made his debut in 2000 in South Africa, and was a key part of the 2000, 2004, 2013, and 2017 New Zealand world champion teams. Another title in Czech Republic would make him the most successful softball player in history, becoming the only one to own five WBSC World Championships.

New Zealand’s roster in Czech Republic will feature three flagship World Championship newcomers, as Reilly Makea (bronze medal at the 2018 Junior Men’s Softball World Championship in Prince Albert, Canada), Daniel Chapman (silver at the 2016 Junior Men’s Softball World Championship in Midland, USA) and Jackson Watt will make their debut at the top level global championship.

Sorenson included three pitchers in the roster: Nik Hayes, Daniel Chapman and Josh Pettett; but also can use three position players in the circle, as Makea, Thomas Enoka and Watts can take the ball and eat some innings for him.

In February this year, New Zealand hosted the second edition of the TAB Challenge Cup. A total of 16 players return from the Black Sox squad that lost the final game to Japan, 3-1.


  1. Tyron Bartorillo
  2. Daniel Chapman
  3. Kallan Compain
  4. Ben Enoka
  5. Campbell Enoka
  6. Thomas Enoka
  7. Cole Evans
  8. Joel Evans
  9. Josh Harbrow
  10. Nik Hayes
  11. Wayne Laulu
  12. Reilly Makea
  13. Nathan Nukunuku (captain)
  14. Josh Pettett
  15. Jerome Raemaki
  16. Zane van Lieshout
  17. Jackson Watt