Bowls Australia has taken the final step towards nominating its Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games athletes, with the naming of the players selected for the last international competition before the world’s benchmark event.
The National Selection Panel have today confirmed 28 players for next month’s Trans Tasman Test Series, to be played at Broadbeach from November 10 to 12, which includes senior, development and para-sport teams.
Selectors have opted to choose three extra Australian Jackaroos players within the senior team, to provide further opportunity to observe players in match conditions, with seven women and six men trialled for the team, which will eventually be culled to five and five.
Those named include nine out of ten players from last year’s successful World Bowls Championships, which won four gold, two silver and one bronze medals from eight disciplines, with recently retired Mark Casey the only omission.
Bolstering that team is Australian Jackaroos Captain Lynsey Clarke, reigning Australian Open singles champion Ellen Ryan, 2012 world champion Wayne Ruediger and two-time Commonwealth Games representative Nathan Rice.
The 13 players will interchange throughout each session of the three-day, three test event.
While selectors have hedged their bets with the senior team, they have shown their hand with the para-sport contingent, which will play for two gold medals at GC2018 next April.
Selectors have named just five players (and two vision impaired directors) for the two para-sport disciplines, which includes a Bowlers with a Disability triples and Vision-Impaired Pairs, in essence declaring that the GC2018 spots are theirs to lose.
Queensland’s Tony Bonnell is the only incumbent player selected who competed at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, with Colac’s Ken Hanson and reigning Australian Open men’s pairs winner Josh Thornton rounding out the BWD triples team.
In the Vision-Impaired pairs, Queensland pair Lynne Seymour and Jake Fehlberg have secured selection after claiming gold at the Commonwealth Games preparation event, the 2017 Gold Coast Multi Nations, last June.
Ten players earmarked for future international success have also been given the opportunity to impress on the big stage as part of a development team.
Australian Jackaroos Scott Thulborn, Aaron Teys, Corey Wedlock and Kristina Krstic are among the 10 chosen, alongside some of the sport’s brightest young stars from the second-tier Australian Emerging Jackaroos Squad.
National Coach Steve Glasson said it was difficult to whittle down the team but was confident the process would ensure the best opportunity for future international success.
“I have to congratulate all the players that have been chosen, but also give credit to those who weren’t fortunate on this occasion; it was certainly very difficult for selectors to determine the best composition and there are a few players who can consider themselves somewhat unlucky they missed out,” Glasson said.
“We are bringing some additional players in the senior event though, which will allow us to trial players in a few different positions to ensure we get the right structure of the team head of GC2018.
“Contrastingly, the para-sport players have been given a prime opportunity to cement their place as the nation’s leading Bowlers with a Disability and Vision-Impaired players; it was difficult to narrow it down to just these five players, but we’re confident they have the right attributes to deliver gold for Australia in the future.”
The Trans Tasman Test Series will boast added impetus this year, as the last chance to impress selectors ahead of GC2018.
Following this event, the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games athletes will be ratified and announced by Commonwealth Games Australia later in the year.
Trans Tasman Senior Team
Lynsey Clarke (Club Helensvale, QLD)
Kelsey Cottrell (St Johns Park, NSW)
Carla Krizanic (Sunbury, VIC)
Karen Murphy (Cabramatta, NSW)
Ellen Ryan (Cabramatta, NSW)
Natasha Scott (Raymond Terrace, NSW)
Rebecca Van Asch (Invermay, TAS)
Barrie Lester (Mulgrave Country Club, VIC)
Nathan Rice (Club Helensvale, QLD)
Wayne Ruediger (Grange, SA)
Aron Sherriff (Ettalong Memorial, NSW)
Brett Wilkie (Club Helensvale, QLD)
Aaron Wilson (Cabramatta, NSW)
Trans Tasman Development Team
Tiffany Brodie (Clayton, VIC)
Kristina Krstic (Manning Memorial, WA)
Dawn Hayman (St Johns Park, NSW)
Samantha Noronha (Engadine, NSW)
Jessica Srisamruaybai (Tweed Heads, QLD)
Jonathon Davis (Club Mount Lewis, NSW)
Sean Ingham (Broadbeach, QLD)
Aaron Teys (Warilla, NSW)
Scott Thulborn (Adelaide, SA)
Corey Wedlock (Cabramatta, NSW)
Trans Tasman Para-Sport Team
Athletes with a disability:
Tony Bonnell (Brighton, QLD)
Ken Hanson (City Bowls Club Colac, VIC)
Joshua Thornton (East Shepparton, VIC)
Jake Fehlberg (Burleigh Heads, QLD, Director: Grant Fehlberg)
Lynne Seymour (Thuringowa Tulle, QLD, Director: Robert Seymour)