Rowing: British men begin long haul to London 2012

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The Independent Online

Jurgen Grobler has kept faith with his leading men as the British team begin the long haul to London 2012. The Great Britain chief coach put his trust in his under-performing pairs team, Pete Reed and Andy Triggs Hodge, when he named them for next month's world championships in New Zealand despite their history of second places this year.

Grobler also stood by his four – Matt Langridge, Alex Gregory, Ric Egington and Alex Partridge – to defend the title they won in Poznan last year.

Britain's rowers, however, were left in no doubt that these championships will launch a gruelling campaign to secure seats in the Olympic boats. The GB rowing performance director David Tanner said: "These next months are a crucial part of the Olympic cycle. We go to New Zealand with strength in depth and we'll want to assess progress."