Four new faces earn boarding pass to Birmingham

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The replacement Team Members are bound for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games that are getting underway at the end of this month.

A cyclist, lawn bowler and two Hockeyroos will join the Australian Team bound for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, replacing athletes who have unfortunately suffered injuries or are now unavailable.

Rebecca Greiner (QLD) and Grace Stewart (NSW) will join the Hockeyroos team, replacing Brooke Peris and Courtney Schonell.

Peris and Schonell were ruled out of the Games due to injuries in the lead up to the FIH Women’s World Cup which is currently taking place in Europe.

Greiner, 23, found herself back in the Hockeyroos fold this year after missing out on squad selection in 2020 and 2021. The Bundaberg local says she will relish the opportunity to represent her country.

“Competing at the Commonwealth Games is something we’ve had to prepare for but never something you automatically expect to just happen and be part of,” Greiner said.

“While I’m disappointed for Brooke and Courtney, I’m really excited about representing Australia and the Hockeyroos in Birmingham.”

Stewart, 25, was a member of the silver medal winning Hockeyroos squad at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Growing up in Gerringong in the Illawarra region of New South Wales, she started playing hockey at five and quickly rose through the ranks.

She remembers her parents, who are also hockey enthusiasts, driving her to tournaments so she could be selected for representative and state teams.

Nearing 100 games for her country, Stewart will be hoping to bring up the milestone on the way to helping the Hockeyroos go one better in Birmingham.

“It’s a tough situation to be in because you never want to see your teammates get injured and be ruled out of such a special tournament,” Stewart said.

“In saying that, I am extremely proud to be selected to represent Australia at the Commonwealth Games and I hope I can do my teammates and Australia proud.

“The Commonwealth Games is such an exciting tournament with the buzz of the village and being surrounded by so many other sports…I can’t wait for the Games to start.”

A household name in West Australia, cyclist Luke Durbridge will fill the void left by Michael Matthews and Kaden Groves, who are no longer available for selection due to trade team commitments.

The Delhi 2010 time trial bronze medallist is also a five-time national champion across the Time Trial and Road Race events and has claimed several stage victories at the Giro d’Italia and Festival of Cycling at Adelaide.

He will join Caleb Ewan, Rohan Dennis and Miles Scotson in the Men’s Road Team. Sam Fox, who has already been selected for the men’s Mountain Bike team, will add this event to his schedule to complete the Men’s Road Team.

“I’m really excited to join the team at this year’s Commonwealth Games. I am excited to work with a motivated exciting young group and to go for gold in the road race. I feel I can bring a lot of experience to the team and help guide our leaders to success,” Durbridge said.

“To represent your country is a great honour that I take very seriously, and I will do my best to make sure Australia comes out on top.

“I’m currently at the Tour de France which will give me a great preparation to be ready to rock in Birmingham.”

In lawn bowls, unforeseen family circumstances have ruled out guide Grant Fehlberg, with Matthew Northcott to take his place.

Northcott, a well-known face within the Lawn Bowls fraternity, has been involved in the sport from both a player and administrator.

Northcott is currently the South Australian Pathways Coach, guiding the young stars from his state into the high-performance program.

He said that while it was unfortunate Grant could no longer guide for his son Jake, he was glad he could support the defending champion.

Commonwealth Games Australia Team Chef de Mission Petria Thomas OAM said while it is devastating for those athletes no longer able to compete, she is thrilled to welcome the exciting new talent to the team.

“I send my condolences to those athletes who will not be joining our team in Birmingham, but I am thrilled to see their shoes filled with such capable and talented athletes,” she said.

“With just two weeks to go until the Games start, I wish these new additions to the team all the best in the lead up and cannot wait to see them on the ground in their green and gold.”

 

Australian Replacement Team Members – Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games:

NAME SPORT EVENT AGE COMMONWEALTH GAMES STATE
Rebecca Greiner Hockey Women's Hockey 23 Debut QLD
Grace Stewart Hockey Women's Hockey 25 2nd Games (2018 – Silver: Women’s Hockey) NSW
Luke Durbridge Cycling Men's Road Race 31 3rd Games (2010 – Bronze: Men’s Individual Time Trial, 11th: Points Race; 2014 - 9th: Men’s Individual Time Trial) WA
Matthew Northcott Lawn Bowls Mixed Pairs B2-B3 (Director) 29 Debut SA

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will be held from Thursday 28 July to Monday 8 August.

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