England pair in fine fettle

PUBLISHED: 11:14 12 June 2008 | UPDATED: 16:18 05 May 2010

Jayne Christie (left) and Shirley Page

Jayne Christie (left) and Shirley Page

TWO top bowlers from Comet country are gearing up for the challenge of representing their country again. Jayne Christie from Henlow Park Bowls Club has been selected as captain of the Bowls England ladies team for next week s international tournament. Al

TWO top bowlers from Comet country are gearing up for the challenge of representing their country again.

Jayne Christie from Henlow Park Bowls Club has been selected as captain of the Bowls England ladies' team for next week's international tournament.

Also part of the team is the vastly experienced Baldock Town bowler Shirley Page.

The pair will be aiming for England to retain their title when they face Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Jersey at Belmont Bowls Club in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

They leave on Sunday for the tournament which runs from Tuesday to Thursday.

Jayne has been an England regular since making her debut in 2000 and is honoured to have been awarded the captaincy.

She admitted: "I was really surprised to be made captain; like the men, the selectors pick the captain now rather than the rest of the team.

"It's mainly a motivational role and making sure everyone is in the right place at the right team.

"I'll be the link between the players and the management."

Shirley made her England debut in 1991 and is representing her country for the 18th consecutive year.

She has seen various changes in that time - both to the standard of play and the attire of the team!

Shirley said: "The kit has certainly changed a lot and it's become more like a proper sport. The standard of play is a lot higher now.

"Things are a lot more relaxed and it's a lot more about the players rather than the way you look!

"You used to have to parade up and down and they used to check the length of your skirt!"

England wore this kit in the world championships in February and were voted the best dressed team by bowls authorities.

There are no immediate plans to retire from international competition for Shirley who is playing every night this week in local competitions.

She added: "I still want to win just as much.

"I just want to carry on playing but I will bow out gracefully at some point.

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