Only Nic Rusling (WP) and Tracy-Lee Botha, remain from last year’s winning Protea men’s and women’s bowls sides to compete against Namibia, the SA Juniors and Zimbabwe Juniors in a Quadrangular Tournament at Windhoek from 31 October-2 November.
The annual event, normally between SA and Namibia – Open and Seniors – sees the inclusion of two top class junior teams.
Says Bowls SA president Allan Freeman: ‘This innovative, exciting move indicates the store set by Bowls SA to embrace the bowls world’s accent towards youth. I shall watch with great interest how the youngsters fare against full international sides.’
A subtle combination of experience and fresh blood, sees the men’s side range from Gauteng’s veteran SA No1 Gerry Baker, to a second black South African star, SA Singles champion Morgan Muvhango (Sables) who makes his international debut (following Gauteng’s Prince Neluonde) and the exciting Thinus Oelofse (Ekurhuleni) who showed style in his first outing in green and gold at the African States Tournament held in Botswana in September.
The side also has the reliable recent Glasgow Commonwealth Games gold medallist Pierre Breitenbach (NW) and accurate SA Masters champion Nic Rusling to bare more teeth.
Both SA teams, paramount in Africa, without underestimating Namibia who blew hot and cold in Botswana, should dominate.
The ebullient Botha, a double gold winner in Glasgow, makes her debut as an international skip of a fours side behind a formidable trio of internationals in multiple national champion Elma Davis (Eden Bowls) a rejuvenated Rika Lynn (Sables) and the SA Masters women’s champion Nici Neal – another to shine in Botswana, where South Africa swept virtually all gold medals.
Add probably one of the best singles players in the world in Colleen Piketh and Namibia’s more than adequate women’s side face a torrid time.
The Proteas team
Men: Fours: Gerry Baker, Pierre Breitenbach, Thinus Oelofse, Morgan Muvhango; Singles: Nick Rusling; Pairs: Baker/Rusling; Trips: Breitenbach/Oelofse /Muvhango; Women: Fours: Tracy-Lee Botha, Elma Davis, Rika Lynn, Nici Neal; Singles: Colleen Piketh; Pairs: Piketh/Lynn; Trips: Botha/Davis/Neal
Seniors: Men: Fours: Geoff Gowar (EP), Laylon Howard (Natal Inland) Eddie Fann (Kingfisher), Mike Marnewick (Sables); Singles: Allan Gordon (Gauteng); Pairs: Fann/Gordon; Trips: Gowar/Howard/ Marnewick. Women: Loraine Victor (Gauteng N) Jenny Smith 9Gauteng), Glenda Matthews (Port Natal), Trish Young (WP) Singles: Sharon Glenn (Gauteng); Pairs: Glenn/Young; Trips: Victor/Smith/Matthews
Juniors: Men: Fours: Conrad Potgieter (borer), Brendan Ainley (Natal Inland), Stephan de Jager (Boland), Tarquin Ormston Border); Singles: Shawn Jansen van Vuuren (Mpumalanga); Pairs: Van Vuuren / De Jager; Trips: Potgieter/Ainley/Ormston. Women: Anneke Snyman (Boland), Roxanne Tingle (Gauteng), Ezile Fourie (Boland), Jacqui Janse van Rensburg (Gauteng); Singles: Ashleigh Parks (Gauteng); Pairs: Tingle/Parks; Trips: Snyman/Fourie /Van Rensburg.
Coach: Theuns Fraser; Manager: Jessica Henderson.
In the accompanying picture, SA Singles bowls champion and debutant Morgan Muvhango with sponsor, Warwick Wealth’s Bill Kilbride)