Not-so-new Rice is right to land spot in Glasgow squad

by admin on February 11, 2014

Helensvale stalwart Nathan Rice is on the verge of a remarkable Commomwealth Games return after gaining selection for the Trans Tasman Test series, the Gold Coast Bulletin reports. Rice is part of a five-man squad to play New Zealand at Traralgon, in the Gippsland region of Victoria, next month. He comes in at the expense of clubmate Mark Casey at a time when chances are running out to impress national selectors before the Games in Glasgow. Rice, a bronze medallist with Barrie Lester in pairs at the 2006 Games in Melbourne, did not represent Australia in Delhi in 2010. His comeback stocks rose dramatically when he was selected in last year’s Eight Nation series in Glasgow. Fellow Club Helensvale bowler Brett Wilkie, who was this week named a finalist for the Bowls Australia male bowler of the year award, was also selected in the team. Australian men’s coach and bowls legend Steve Glasson said the two Helensvale teammates would add plenty of experience to the side. “The men’s team will be ably led by Aron (Ettalong Memorial’s Aron Sherriff) who had a stellar 2013.” he said. “Brett and Nathan will ensure there are some cool heads out there.” The good news for Club Helensvale extends to the women’s team, too, with 30-year-old Lynsey Clarke named to play in the series. Clarke will look to help the Aussies to victory, having beaten their New Zealand rivals 11 months ago. The Australian team for the Commonwealth Games will be chosen as soon as the series against the Kiwis is completed. The Gold Coast has long been a key feeder region for international-level talent. Glasson was quick to point out yesterday that while selection for the Trans -Tasman series was a strong avenue to Games representation, nothing should be taken for granted. “To be playing in the final international series before the Commonwealth Games allows the selected players to stake their claims for Glasgow on the greens,” he said. “But they are all aware that their respective form can play a role. “Competition for spots in the team is always hot and that will remain so until the final decision on the Commonwealth Games team is made.”