Bowls Australia

Three to fight it out for final Jackaroos squad position

by Val Febbo

Three men will be on trial in the coming months to determine who will take the final BCiB Australian Jackaroos squad position as the team solidifies ahead of next year’s Commonwealth Games.

Western Australia’s Cody Packer, Queensland’s Matthew Lucas and Victoria’s Jay Bye-Norris have all been selected to compete in the trials for the tenth male place in the team.

The trio will battle it out in conjunction with the Jackaroos squad under Commonwealth Games format in two separate trials in July and September, with national selectors to determine the new squad member based on their performance throughout the contests.

All three boast serious pedigree, with Packer being a Western Australian men’s pairs champion, having also competed valiantly in numerous Bowls Premier Leagues for the Perth Suns, unfortunately missing out on the two recent editions due to COVID restrictions.

Furthermore, the Osborne Park Club member spent a portion of 2020 as the number one ranked bowler in the nation, and finished as the top ranked Western Australian.

Lucas began 2021 in style, making his way into the Emerging Jackaroos squad and like Packer, is a state champion and will look to continue his promising year on the green.

Victorian Bye-Norris, who was the highest ranked male bowler from his state throughout a portion of 2020, will also look to put forward his best showing to earn a Jackaroos call up.

The reigning Victorian Open singles champion was another addition to the Emerging Jackaroos squad in January.

National Coach Gary Willis says the three men have embraced the High Performance program and shown exemplary form in recent times that are worthy of the opportunity.

“Our high performance team feel as though Cody, Matt and Jay have all shown great signs that they can be valued members of the Jackaroos squad,” he said.

“It is a shame that we can only choose one of the three, but we look forward to seeing what they will bring to the trials.

“The trio were selected through our pathway and with their commitment, dedication and results, we know that the winner will be worthy of their cap.”

Following the winner’s induction into the national squad, the team for the Trans-Tasman series in November will be revealed.