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SIX NEW CAPS IN ENGLAND TEAM TO FACE SPAIN
3rd May 2011

The Berkshire (Photo Tom Ward and EGU)

Jack Senior ( Heysham , Lancashire), winner of a string of titles in the past few months, Stiggy Hodgson ( Sunningdale , Surrey) and Darren Wright ( Rowlands Castle , Hampshire, IoW & CI) are the only previously capped players named in the nine-man England team for this weekend's international with Spain at The Berkshire Golf Club.

Six new caps: Steven Brown ( Wentworth , Surrey), James Burnett ( Sleaford , Lincolnshire), Alex Christie ( Tyrrells Wood , Surrey), Paul Lockwood ( Hessle , Yorkshire), Ben Loughrey ( Wrag Barn , Wiltshire) and Neil Raymond ( Corhampton , Hampshire, IoW & CI), means England will field a comparatively new-look team for the biennial match on 7th and 8th May.

At least six players, who would have been key selections, are either unavailable or have recently turned professional, including Laurie Canter and Eddie Pepperell.

Senior, 22, currently leads the Titleist/FootJoy EGU Order of Merit following his victories which include the New South Wales Amateur, Hampshire Hog and last weekend's Lytham Trophy. He was also a member of the four-man England team that completed a hat-trick of victories in last month's European Nations Championship in Spain.

Brown, who will celebrate his 24th birthday on the opening day of the match, is one of three Surrey players in the team. He has been a regular high-finisher in events in recent years but this will be his England debut as it will be for his county colleague Christie, 25, winner of this year's West of England Stroke Play Championship and runner-up in the 2010 Berkshire Trophy.

Burnett, 19, becomes a full international after being capped at under 16 and boys levels. Winner of the recent Lima Invitational in Peru, he lost out in a three-way playoff for the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters last year when he also finished fifth in the Fairhaven Trophy and sixth in the McEvoy Trophy. He was also a quarter finalist in the English Amateur and represented GB&I in the Jacques Leglise Trophy.

Lockwood, 19, another former boy international, finished runner-up in last year's EGU Boys Order of Merit, having been runner-up in the Yorkshire Boys Championship and the Carris Trophy. He also represented GB&I in the Jacques Leglise Trophy last year while his recent performances include sixth in the West of England and joint eighth in the Lytham Trophy.

Loughrey, 22, enjoyed a successful trip to Australia earlier this year during which he won the New South Wales Cup and was a member of England's victorious team in The Ashes. Winner of the Lee Westwood Trophy in 2010, he also finished runner-up in the Berkhamsted Trophy and third in the Irish Open Amateur.

Raymond, 25, who was also a member of the winning Ashes team in Australia, is a former English Amateur quarter finalist and a winner of the Parman Cup in 2010. Also last year, he finished runner-up in the Czech Amateur and fourth in the South of England Stroke Play, while another second place came in the recent Selborne Salver.

Hodgson, 20, a member of the 2009 Walker Cup team, was English boy champion in 2008 and earned his first full England cap in the 2009 Home Internationals. A former winner of the McEvoy Trophy, the Duke of York Young Champions Trophy and the Daily Telegraph Junior Championship, he finished runner-up in last year's St Andrews Links Trophy. Another member of the successful Ashes squad, he was beaten by Canter in the final of this year's Spanish Amateur.

Wright, 22, was the 2006 English boy champion and a former boy international. He earned his first full cap in last year's Home Internationals and was also part of the victorious Ashes team in Australia. His biggest win to date came with the Brabazon Trophy last year while he also represented GB&I against the Continent of Europe in the St Andrews Trophy. A former West of England champion, he finished fifth on last year's Titleist/FootJoy EGU Order of Merit.

The Spanish team will be: Adria Arnaus, Alberto Fernandez, Antonio Hortal, Oliver Mena, Adrian Otaegui, Marcos Pastor, Carlos Pigem, Gerard Piris and Xavi Puig.

England has an almost unblemished record in the biennial matches with Spain which began in 1985. The Spanish have only won once, a 15.5-8.5 success at Puerta de Hierro in 2005. England has won the past two contests, 16-8 at Royal Ashdown Forest in 2007 and 13.5-10.5 at La Reserva two years ago.

The match consists of four foursomes and eight singles matches on each day.

Photo copyright Tom Ward.










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