BCiB Australian Jackaroos named for Asia Pacific Championships

by Domenic Favata

Former captain Lynsey Clarke headlines three new inclusions named in the BCiB Australian Jackaroos team selected to don the green and gold at the 2019 Asia Pacific Championships on the Gold Coast in June.

Clarke, 35, returns to the national fold following a 15-month international hiatus to mother and raise two children, including the birth of her second just four months ago, while in-form New South Wales pair Ray Pearse and Aaron Teys have also been selected in the ten-player contingent to contest against 18 nations on home soil.

The Trans Tasman Test Series in November 2017 was the last international outing for 328-game stalwart Clarke, with the Queenslander well-equipped to make an immediate impact in familiar surrounds, with her own Club Helensvale, Broadbeach and Musgrave Hill Bowls Clubs the three host venues for the event.

Following a standout year in 2018, which included a maiden national title in the form of the Australian Championships’ singles crown in December, Pearse has been handed the plum blue-ribbon singles position, while counterpart Kelsey Cottrell will return to singles duty for the first time since the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Meanwhile, rising star Teys, 25, has secured a spot as one of the main five men for the first time, having only previously represented Australia as a part of extended squads in three events.

Unsurprisingly, Australia’s golden girls, who collected the triples and fours gold medals at the 2018 Commonwealth Games have also cemented their spots, with the aforementioned Cottrell, Carla Krizanic, Rebecca Van Asch and Natasha Scott hoping for yet another fruitful international campaign.

Van Asch will steer the triples, as skip of an unchanged line-up from GC2018, while Scott will again take command of the fours, which now features Clarke as lead, Krizanic as second and Van Asch as third.

Bolstering the men’s line-up is three proven combatants, who all claimed silver medals at last year’s Commonwealth Games, with Club Helensvale’s Aron Sherriff skipping the triples and fours, teammate Nathan Rice taking the reins of the pairs, and Melbourne’s Barrie Lester leading for Sherriff.

Changes to the team include incumbents Aaron Wilson, who secured the men’s singles gold medal at last year’s Commonwealth Games, and 612-game veteran Karen Murphy.

Bowls Australia’s National Selection Panel have opted to reward those in white-hot form in recent months, with National Coach Steve Glasson confident they’ve chosen the right mix of in-form players and proven performers.

“The selection camp that took place on the Gold Coast last week was undoubtedly the most competitive trial period I have ever witnessed, which is certainly a credit to all of the players involved, who made it an incredibly difficult task for selectors,” Glasson said.

“These selections are fitting recognition for the hard work and dedication shown by many players over a long period of time, and the opportunity ahead is deserving reward for their effort.

“This is another big step in the identification of the players who will be entrusted with Australia’s hopes at the 2020 World Bowls Championships, but there will be another four international events staged in between the Asia Pacific Championships and Worlds, so the larger squad group certainly remain in contention and will be given opportunities to further their cause over the next year.”

The 2019 Asia Pacific Championships will be held on the Gold Coast, Queensland from June 18 to 28, featuring competitors from 18 countries, and is a qualifying event for the 2020 World Bowls Championships, to be staged at the same venues in May/June next year.

Team:

Women
Kelsey Cottrell (28, St Johns Park, NSW)
Lynsey Clarke (35, Club Helensvale, QLD)
Carla Krizanic (28, Sunbury, VIC)
Rebecca Van Asch (30, Invermay, TAS)
Natasha Scott (28, Raymond Terrace, NSW)

Men
Ray Pease (34, Cabramatta, NSW)
Nathan Rice (39, Club Helensvale, QLD)
Barrie Lester (37, Melbourne, VIC)
Aaron Teys (25, Warilla, NSW)
Aron Sherriff (33, Club Helensvale, QLD)

Disciplines:

Women
Singles: Kelsey Cottrell
Pairs: Lynsey Clarke & Kelsey Cottrell
Triples: Carla Krizanic, Natasha Scott & Rebecca Van Asch
Fours: Lynsey Clarke, Carla Krizanic, Rebecca Van Asch & Natasha Scott

Men
Singles: Ray Pearse
Pairs: Ray Pearse & Nathan Rice
Triples: Barrie Lester, Aaron Teys & Aron Sherriff
Fours: Barrie Lester, Aaron Teys, Nathan Rice & Aron Sherriff