Falkner to replace Edwards in Pirates BPL lineup

by Val Febbo

Ellen Falkner MBE will make her Bowls Premier League (BPL) debut for the Brisbane Pirates at BPL14 in Moama following the withdrawal of former tournament champion Jo Edwards due to the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

In December, the New Zealand government announced a 10-day isolation period for anyone returning from across the ditch, causing the proposed March Trans Tasman series to be been postponed.

Due to the situation, Edwards made the difficult decision to withdraw from BPL14.

The Pirates welcome Falkner in as Edwards’ replacement, a player with just as an impressive international resume.

Falkner recently emigrated to Australia to undertake the position of High Performance Manager for Para Bowls at Bowls Australia (BA), and was quick to jump at the opportunity.

The former England national has observed the tournament from afar for many years, and the prospect of playing in it gives her nothing but excitement.

“I’m really excited, it’s an event that’s been on my bucket list for a very long time,” Falkner said.

“I’ve watched it previously over Facebook Live, and I’m so excited to pull on a shirt and represent the Brisbane Pirates.”

Falkner said she enjoys the tactics and quick shifts in momentum in any given BPL encounter, and looks forward to adapting herself to the speed of the event.

“I just think the format is great, it’s really short and sharp and the outcome happens really quickly,” she said.

“I love the way you bring players on, it’s very tactical and very skilful and I think it’s a great spectator masterpiece and I’m absolutely thrilled to be a part of it.”

The three-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist will team up with Scot Alex Marshall and Club Pine Rivers local hero Chris Rosanes, and said she is jubilated at the opportunity to join them on the green.

“I was really lucky to play with Alex in a Rest of the World versus Australia event, the inaugural one in Moama at the back end of 2019,” Falkner said.

“It will be brilliant to be on the same side as Alex again and I’m really looking forward to meeting Chris, I’ve heard great things about him and I’m excited to be playing with him.”

#BPL14 will run from February 21-25, 2022 and will be broadcast on Fox Sports, Kayo and Sky Sports NZ.