Bowls: Veteran Willie Wood gets Scotland call

Willie Wood will add to his record number of Scotland caps in March.
Willie Wood will add to his record number of Scotland caps in March.
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Willie Wood MBE is set to add to his record number of indoor bowls caps after he was named in the Scotland team for the Home International Series being played in Llanelli, Wales, from March 17 to 19.

The 77-year-old ‘Wizard from Gifford’ made his Scotland debut in 1972 under the now defunct Edinburgh IBC banner. He won 18 caps with the Capital club before transferring to his native East Lothian to add a further 72 caps from 1989 to 2015.

His 2016 trio of caps will move him up to the 93 mark and he heads a list that is dominated in the top three by East Lothian IBC figures in the shape of Graham Robertson, second with 87, and Alex Marshall MBE, third with 72.

Marshall was an enforced absentee in the 2015 campaign, but the record six times World Indoor Singles Champion is a high-profile recall for 2016.

Whilst celebrations are in order for Wood and Marshall at international level, there is particular regret in the ‘Garden County’ camp that Robertson won’t be parading his brand of exceptional skills in Wales.

Robertson’s 87 appearances in the international arena is the result of a fantastic 29 Home Championship Series in a row and he has never been dropped since making his debut in 1987 – like Wood under the Edinburgh IBC banner – until now.

Edinburgh and the Lothians contribute an impressive 12 of the 24 players in the team. East Lothian head the numbers list with Billy Mellors, Scott Kennedy, Derek Oliver and Jamie Higgins joining Wood and Marshall to make a total of six.

Colin Hutchison is a solitary figure representing the Capital, with the Bainfield star making it three series and nine caps in a row having made his debut in the 2014 season.

The West Lothian IBC representation is five-strong and headed by gold-medal figure Neil Speirs. He is joined by Thomas Mann, Calum Logan, Mark Allison and Bryan Cooper.

Midlothian are disappointed to have no representation. However, key men Colin Walker, Ronnie Duncan and David Peacock were unavailable for the selection process.