BPL18 TEAMS ANNOUNCED
With just over two months remaining until the next instalment of the Bowls Premier League (BPL), the ten franchises have submitted their teams that show four playing changes and three coaching alterations, including two making their tournament debut in BPL18 at the competition’s spiritual home of Club Pine Rivers.
The Melbourne eXtreme has announced one change, with Right at Home Jackaroo Kylie Whitehead headlining the inclusions for the event to come in for Natasha Van Eldik.
Whitehead has earned 37 international caps for the Jackaroos and will join former champion Ali Forsyth and BPL15 All Star team member Matthew Flapper, who comes back into the Club Sunbury franchise for Nick Cahill after being a late withdrawal in February’s edition of the competition.
Kelvin Kerkow will reprise his role as the team’s coach.
The Tasmania Tridents have made a playing change as well, with 2022 Australian men’s singles champion Rob McMullen to replace foundation Trident Taelyn Male.
McMullen joins Rebecca Van Asch and Michael Sims on the green with Mark Strochnetter back on board as the franchise’s coach.
The final playing change comes from the Gold Coast Hawks, with former charger in Brett Wilkie making his return to the tournament in place of Shannon McIlroy.
Club Helensvale’s franchise is yet to feature in the finals since its return to the competition despite always boasting a healthy shot difference and will hope that their esteemed product can bring them into the top five.
Wilkie previously donned the Hawks colours from APL02 to BPL06 and also represented the Perth Suns in the inaugural tournament in 2013.
He teams up with former champions in Kelsey Cottrell and Nathan Rice, with coach Mark Thatcher making his debut and replacing Anthony Kiepe.
The Suns have also made a coaching replacement with Pieter Harris making way for Bill Brandsma, who will lead an unchanged trio of Kristina Krstic, Cody Packer and Blake Nairn.
The Adelaide Pioneers will be striving to finally end the South Australian hoodoo at the tournament with Les Carter coming back to the helm as coach in place of John Higgins.
On the green it will be the same trio of two-time MVP Scott Thulborn, Wayne Ruediger and Katelyn Inch as they aim to hoist the trophy for the first time.
Defending champions in the Moama Steamers will bring forth the exact same lineup that stormed to the BPL17 final on the Murray, as five-time champion and six-time MVP Aron Sherriff returns with recently crowned World Champion Ryan Bester and Australian Open women’s singles winner Cassandra Millerick for company.
Kevin Anderson will suit up yet again for the Steamers as coach.
No changes have been made for the Sydney Lions either as the Club Mount Lewis squad looks to go one better than February with coach Steve Glasson OAM leading the trio of Karen Murphy AM, Aaron Wilson and Ben Twist.
BPL15 and 16 champions in the Melbourne Pulse are unchanged as Barrie Lester, Ellen Ryan and Gary Kelly return under the guidance of Jeremy Henry, while the Tweed Heads Ospreys juggernaut will look to reassert themselves on top as Wayne Turley OAM leads Aaron Teys, Corey Wedlock and Chloe Stewart once more.
Finally, the home franchise of the Moreton Bay Pirates also bring an unchanged team as Alex Marshall, Jo Edwards and Chris Rosanes look to regain the title in front of the parochial Pine Rivers crowd under the reign of Ryan Burnett.
See below for the full ins and outs for each BPL franchise:
Adelaide Pioneers: Scott Thulborn, Wayne Ruediger, Katelyn Inch
Coach: Les Carter
In: Carter (Coach)
Out: John Higgins (Coach)
Moreton Bay Pirates: Alex Marshall, Jo Edwards, Chris Rosanes
Coach: Ryan Burnett
Gold Coast Hawks: Brett Wilkie, Kelsey Cottrell, Nathan Rice
Coach: Mark Thatcher
In: Wilkie, Thatcher (Coach)
Out: Shannon McIlroy, Anthony Kiepe (Coach)
Melbourne eXtreme: Kylie Whitehead, Matthew Flapper, Ali Forsyth
Coach: Kelvin Kerkow
In: Flapper, Whitehead
Out: Natasha Van Eldik, Nick Cahill
Melbourne Pulse: Barrie Lester, Gary Kelly, Ellen Ryan
Coach: Jeremy Henry
Moama Steamers: Ryan Bester, Cassandra Millerick, Aron Sherriff
Coach: Kevin Anderson
Perth Suns: Blake Nairn, Kristina Krstic, Cody Packer
Coach: Bill Brandsma
In: Brandsma (Coach)
Out: Pieter Harris (Coach)
Sydney Lions: Karen Murphy, Ben Twist, Aaron Wilson
Coach: Steve Glasson
Tasmania Tridents: Rebecca Van Asch, Rob McMullen, Michael Sims
Coach: Mark Strochnetter
Out: Taelyn Male
Tweed Heads Ospreys: Aaron Teys, Corey Wedlock, Chloe Stewart
Coach: Wayne Turley
BPL18 runs from November 13-17, 2023, at Club Pine Rivers with live streaming on Bowls Australia’s Facebook page and YouTube channel, as well as live broadcasts from Tuesday to Friday from 4pm until 10pm AEST on Fox, Kayo and Sky Sports NZ.
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