Changes are in-store for the Bowls Premier League’s two most successful teams.
The reigning titleholders and second-place finishers of last February’s $100,000 BPL League competition have both announced changes to their team lists ahead of November’s BPL06.
The dual defending champions, the BCiB Sydney Lions, have been forced to make a change to their contingent, after Australian Selectors entrusted star Ben Twist with international duties at the simultaneously staged Hong Kong International Bowls Classic.
Taking Twist’s place in the Lions’ den is newly-capped Australian Jackaroo and up-and-coming ace Corey Wedlock, who was instrumental in Australia’s gold medal men’s triples result at the 2017 Gold Coast Multi-Nations event last June.
The remaining Lions’ pride remains unchanged, with four-time International Bowler of the Year Aron Sherriff and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Karen Murphy in the playing guernseys, alongside National Coach Steve Glasson OAM in the Coach’s chair.
Last year’s runners-up, and BPL03’s winning team, the New Zealand Blackjacks have also confirmed a positional change, with a big-name star and favourite son set to return in an effort to go one step further this November.
The man who solidified the title for the Kiwis with a spectacular final delivery in BP03, world champion Ali Forsyth, has returned to the fold after missing last February’s event.
He will reunite with world singles champion Shannon McIlroy and international stalwart Jo Edwards, with New Zealand National Coach Sharon Sims calling the shots.
Continuing the theme, the Club Helensvale Gold Coast Hawks have also made one change to their roster, in an attempt to claim a maiden title.
Australian Jackaroos Captain Lynsey Clarke has re-joined the Hawks’ nest after missing the last event in New Zealand due to logistical complications, and will replace Kelsey Cottrell who took up her spot in the eleventh hour.
Alongside Clarke is recently announced Hall of Fame inductee Mark Casey and world pairs champion Brett Wilkie, with Australian Open singles runner-up Nathan Rice in the coach’s seat.
“Our club and members are very excited to be involved in another BPL this year,” Clarke said about the event.
“We love being able to cheer on our Hawks in this prestigious event; our supporters are always the loudest and most colourful.
“Our line-up contains three of Australia’s greats, all world champions, and all having played many years alongside each other in the Hawks colours.
I believe the compatibility and skill of our team will make us one of the toughest sides to beat in this impressive field – this is our year.”
Stay tuned to bowls.com.au tomorrow for an exciting announcement pertaining to the final franchise, the home-town Moreton Bay Brisbane Pirates.
The Bowls Premier League will light up Brisbane’s Club Pine Rivers from November 14 to 17, with 20 hours of live Fox Sports coverage across the four days of competition.