The nation’s top-tier high-performance squad, the Australian Jackaroos, has been culled to just 16 players for the next 12 months.
The national selection panel, led by National Coach Steve Glasson, have reduced the Jackaroos contingent by six personnel, as the arduous task of naming of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games team draws nearer.
Just one player has earned a spot in the squad from outside last year’s 22-strong team, with Cabramatta’s Corey Wedlock, 20, afforded a maiden berth in a bid to bolster the men’s contingent.
Despite his tender age, Wedlock has proven himself more than capable on the national and international circuit, having claimed back-to-back Hong Kong International Pairs titles the past two years and earlier this month secured New Zealand’s coveted Burnside Invitation pairs trophy.
The Cabramatta Bull Ants now supply the most amount of combatants for potential international duties, fielding four of the 16 players selected.
The Gold Coast’s Club Helensvale has previously held that honour for a long stretch, but have dropped down to just the two representatives for the next year, following the retirement of Mark Casey and omission of international stalwart Nathan Rice.
Also left out of the squad was 2015 Australian Open men’s singles champion Aaron Teys and recent Bowls Premier League winner Ben Twist, in addition to Dawn Hayman, Chloe Stewart and Max Kleinig.
Nine of the ten recent World Bowls Championships representatives were reselected, minus Casey, after claiming four gold, two silver and a bronze medal from eight disciplines, which ensured every player returned home with a silver or gold medallion around their neck.
Also chosen to continue their illustrious international careers was Lynsey Clarke, Kristina Kristic, Ellen Ryan, Ray Pearse, Wayne Ruediger and Scott Thulborn.
“The Australian Selectors opted to make some tough and decisive calls in relation to this squad formation,” Glasson said.
“In brief, the selectors wanted to make it very clear they wish to have the elite involved, those considered to have an ‘X Factor’ and only those willing to commit to being Jackaroo in every way imaginable.
“Additionally, plenty of emphasis was placed on those who are winning events.
“Having said that, there will be scope to include up to a further four players from outside the Australian Jackaroos with an invitation to participate at the upcoming Multi-Nations event at Broadbeach in June, which is a lead-in tournament for the Commonwealth Games, so there is still hope for those not chosen today.
“I would like to acknowledge the service of the players not selected, there is certainly still hope for them to re-join the squad in the years to come.
“In particular I would like to thank Mark Casey, who has made himself unavailable for selection in order to focus on his role as Bowls Australia Events Manager and GOLDOC Competition Manager, for the outstanding manner in which he has represented his country over the past 13 years.”
Bowls Australia congratulate the 16-strong Australian Jackaroos team for 2017 and acknowledge the contribution of the seven former representatives.
Lynsey Clarke (33, Club Helensvale, QLD)
Kelsey Cottrell (26, St Johns Park, NSW)
Kristina Kristic (22, Manning Memorial, WA)
Carla Krizanic (26, Sunbury, VIC)
Karen Murphy (42, Cabramatta, NSW)
Ellen Ryan (19, Cabramatta, NSW)
Natasha Scott (26, Raymond Terrace, NSW)
Rebecca Van Asch (28, Invermay, TAS)
Barrie Lester (35, Mulgrave Country Club, VIC)
Ray Pearse (32, Cabramatta, NSW)
Wayne Ruediger (40, Grange, SA)
Aron Sherriff (31, Ettalong Memorial, NSW)
Scott Thulborn (32, Adelaide, SA)
Corey Wedlock (20, Cabramatta, NSW)
Brett Wilkie (42, Club Helensvale, QLD)
Aaron Wilson (25, Clayton, VIC)
Dawn Hayman (19, St Johns Park, NSW)
Chloe Stewart (21, Broadbeach, QLD)
Nathan Rice (37, Club Helensvale, QLD)
Max Kleinig (27, Holdfast Bay, SA)
Aaron Teys (23, Warilla, NSW)
Ben Twist (26, St Johns Park, NSW)
Mark Casey (Retired) (35, Club Helensvale, QLD)