Lawn bowls titans call time on international careers

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Two titans of lawn bowls in Australia have announced their retirement with Commonwealth Games gold medallists Karen Murphy and Nathan Rice (second from right) both calling time on their international careers.

Murphy, the co-chair of Commonwealth Games Australia’s athlete advisory committee, will retire at the end of the year following a career that has spanned five Commonwealth Games whilst Rice will pack away the bowls following his final international outing this month.

Murphy, 44, from Kiama in NSW, made her debut for Australia as a 23-year-old at the 1997 Asia Pacific Championships before going on to amass a record 646 caps across 23 years for her country.

She is widely regarded as one of the country’s finest ever bowlers, having represented Australia at five Commonwealth Games (including two on home soil, Melbourne & Gold Coast) and five world championships.

Her career garnered Commonwealth gold in Melbourne in the women’s pairs with Lynsey Armitage in addition to silver medals in 1998 in Kuala Lumpur in the fours, 2002 in Manchester the singles and 2014 in Glasgow in the triples. She won four world championship gold medals including securing the women’s singles gold in back-to-back Championships (2012 & 2016).

On the Gold Coast, Murphy read the athletes’ oath at the Opening Ceremony in her fifth Games appearance, equalling Rex Johnston OAM for the most amount of Games appearances from an Australian bowler.

She will round out her international career in the Australian squads for the 2019 Multi-Nations (November 18-24) and World Bowls Challenge (November 29-30).

Jackaroos veteran Nathan Rice has also announced his international retirement, effective at the end of the 2019 Multi-Nations.

Originally from Launceston, Rice, 40, made his debut for Australia in 2004, before going on to amass 271 caps across 16 years for his country, including three Commonwealth Games, one world championship and four Asia Pacific Championships.

Rice enjoyed a decorated international career, with four Commonwealth Games medals – bronze in the pairs in Melbourne in2006 and the fours in Glasgow in 2014 before winning silver medals on the Gold Coast in 2018, in the triples and fours.

He has a silver and bronze from the world championship medals, along with three Asia Pacific Championship gold medals, with the most recent coming at the 2019 edition on the Gold Coast.

Commonwealth Games Australia congratulates both Karen and Nathan on their outstanding international representative careers.

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