2020 World Bowls Championships: Jackaroos team confirmed

by Domenic Favata

Bowls Australia (BA) selectors have confirmed the 10-strong contingent to be charged with the nation’s hopes on home soil at the 2020 World Bowls Championships.

With 36 nations to take part in the 14-day event from Tuesday, May 26 to Sunday, June 7 across Broadbeach, Helensvale and Musgrave Hill Bowling Clubs on the Gold Coast, the BCiB Australian Jackaroos will be led by a host of familiar names, as well as three debutants for their first foray in the competition.

Having cemented their international spots over the past 12 months with both individual successes in national events and encouraging performances with the Jackaroos, Ellen Ryan (22), Corey Wedlock (23) and Aaron Teys (26) will make their World Bowls Championships debuts.

The New South Wales trio have been integral to the Jackaroos in recent events, with the versatile Wedlock forming a formidable partnership with Aaron Wilson in the Pairs, while Teys and Ryan have strengthened their respective teams’ disciplines.

An esteemed level of experience is set to compliment the aforementioned injection of youth, with more than 20 World Championship medals (including 12 gold) held between the remaining seven players.

Handed the responsibility of the coveted Women’s Singles post, Kelsey Cottrell will have history on her side as she aims to continue Australia’s golden run in this discipline, with the recently-retired Karen Murphy having won the past two World Championship Singles gold medals.

Cottrell will double up in Pairs action with two-time World Championship gold medallist and Helensvale local Lynsey Clarke, who after missing the recent Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, returns to the fold.

Rebecca Van Asch and Natasha Scott will again spearhead Australia in both Triples and Fours action, with Ryan slotting into the lead position of both disciplines replacing Carla Krizanic, who has made herself unavailable due to the pregnancy of her first child.

Alongside Krizanic, Van Asch and Scott have largely been responsible for the Jackaroos dominance in the Women’s game in recent high-calibre events, with the trio current holders of both World Championship and Commonwealth Games gold medals in the Triples and Fours.

Elsewhere and among the Men’s selections, Aaron Wilson will again be entrusted with Men’s Singles duties for the second successive benchmark international event, having famously secured gold for Australia in his Commonwealth Games debut in 2018.

Wilson will be eager for a repeat of his Gold Coast heroics and will also have a World Championships gold medal to defend in the Men’s Pairs, with Wedlock set to fill the shoes of the retired Brett Wilkie, who won gold with Wilson in 2016.

Unsurprisingly, Aron Sherriff will spearhead both the Triples and Fours disciplines, with Barrie Lester recalled as Sherriff’s lead after missing out on the recent Trans Tasman Test Series win over New Zealand.

Wedlock and Teys will fill the remaining positions in both teams’ disciplines, with the inclusion of Lester the sole change to the team from their Trans Tasman outing last week.

Australia will be hoping to better their haul of five gold medals from eight disciplines from the last time the event was held down under, at the 2012 World Bowls Championships in Adelaide.

The Jackaroos were also the best-performed team at the most recent 2016 event, in New Zealand, with four gold, two silver and a bronze from the eight disciplines.

2020 World Bowls Championships
May 26 – June 7, 2020
Gold Coast, QLD, Australia
Broadbeach, Helensvale & Musgrave Hill

BCiB Australian Jackaroos

Women:

Kelsey Cottrell (29, St Johns Park, NSW)
Lynsey Clarke (36, Club Helensvale, QLD)
Ellen Ryan (22, Cabramatta, NSW)
Natasha Scott (29, Raymond Terrace, NSW)
Rebecca Van Asch (31, Invermay, TAS)

Singles: Kelsey Cottrell
Pairs: Lynsey Clarke, Kelsey Cottrell
Triples: Ellen Ryan, Natasha Scott, Rebecca Van Asch
Fours: Ellen Ryan, Lynsey Clarke, Rebecca Van Asch, Natasha Scott

Men:

Aaron Wilson (28, Cabramatta, NSW)
Corey Wedlock (23, Warilla, NSW)
Barrie Lester (38, Burleigh Heads, QLD)
Aaron Teys (26, Warilla, NSW)
Aron Sherriff (34, Club Helensvale, QLD)

Singles: Aaron Wilson
Pairs: Corey Wedlock, Aaron Wilson
Triples: Barrie Lester, Aaron Teys, Aron Sherriff
Fours: Barrie Lester, Aaron Teys, Corey Wedlock, Aron Sherriff

* ages at time of publishing.