Jackaroos & NTC players selected for international hit-outs
Following the announcement of the 20 players entrusted with representation in the coveted Australian Jackaroos squad earlier this week, Bowls Australia have today confirmed the names chosen to compete at four international calibre competitions this year.
The national selection panel have cast their gaze far and wide to pick the 13 players who will carry the nation’s hopes at Malaysia’s Asia Pacific Merdeka Championships, New Zealand’s North East Valley Singles, the Hong Kong Classic and Moama Classic Pairs events, affording six players from outside the Jackaroos team with further opportunity to press the case on the world stage, and in-turn marking them as potential future international representatives.
The Merdeka Championships, staged from October 1-6, has traditionally been an Australian capped event with the exception of last year, but is scheduled to clash with the national trial camp for the 2015 Asia Pacific Championships in New Zealand, which has provided four young players who were on the cusp of being named Jackaroos the chance to bolster their credentials.
18 year-old St Johns Park star Dawn Hayman, who played a role in NSW’s four-peat of the Marj Morris Trophy at the recent Australian Sides Championships on debut, has been handed the plum women’s singles role, while her club-mate Ben Twist, 25, who earlier this year secured the mixed pairs World Junior Championships title, has again been selected for the blue-ribbon men’s singles position, where he will attempt to defend his crown.
Caloundra’s Bolivia Millerick, who also cut her teeth at the the World Junior Championships at Broadbeach in March, and South Australia’s 2015 Australian Open fours winning skip Scott Thulborn will unite for the mixed pairs discipline, and all four will compete for a further shot at glory in the mixed fours.
The Hong Kong Classic, run from November 7-15, will see the Australian Jackaroos’ newest and most experienced duo combine in the internationally capped women’s event.
Western Australia’s Kristina Krstic, 21, will make her senior Australian debut, a feat which will earn her cap number 83, alongside the nation’s most capped representative in history, 495-test player Karen Murphy.
Due to limited player availability because of a scheduling clash with the $110,000 Australian Premier League, the men’s event on the Chinese island won’t be capped, but will also give two of the nation’s brightest young prospects outside the top tier team a chance to shine on the international stage.
South Australia’s Nathan Pedersen, arguably the recent Australian Open’s most in-form player having claimed the fours title and advanced as far as the semi-final of the singles and quarter-final of the pairs, was at the forefront of selectors’ minds when confirming players, as was Cabramatta’s Corey Wedlock, 18, who recently relocated to the powerhouse club to start a four-year green-keeper apprenticeship.
All four players will compete in the Pearl of the Orient in the singles and combine for the men’s and women’s pairs.
Also announced by the selectors today was a team to compete in New Zealand’s $16,000 North Easy Valley Invitational Singles, with international stalwarts Mark Casey and Brett Wilkie to line-up alongside Australian Jackaroos newcomer Aaron Wilson in the 23rd edition of the singles tournament, against stiff opposition from an assortment of New Zealand Blackjacks.
Rounding out the list of players securing additional chances to strike gold and snare a slice of a lucrative prize purse are four players named for Moama’s $73,000 Men’s and Women’s Classic Pairs.
The 2012 World Championships gold medal pairs combination of Kelsey Cottrell and Rebecca Van Asch will join forces again in an attempt to repeat their past heroics, at the $33,000 Ladies Premier Pairs Classic from August 29 to September 1.
The two men chosen to compete in the border-town’s $40,000 Men’s Prestige Pairs Classic, from …