NI rowers named in Great Britain World Cup squad for Belgrade

Joel Cassells and Sam Scrimgeour
Joel Cassells and Sam Scrimgeour won the European title last year

Northern Ireland rowers Peter Chambers, Joel Cassells and Holly Nixon have been named in a 43-strong Great Britain squad for the first World Cup regatta in Belgrade which runs from 5-7 May.

Chambers, 27, partners Will Fletcher in the lightweight double sculls.

Cassells renews his World and European winning combination with Sam Scrimgoeur in the lightweight pair.

Nixon joins Mathilda Hodgkins-Byrne, Jessica Leyden and Beth Bryan in the women's quadruple sculls.

The first major regatta since the Rio Olympics last summer begins the road to the Tokyo Games in three years' time.

With the changes to the rowing programme, there is now just one lightweight category and Coleraine's Chambers, 27, begins the new Olympic cycle in that boat with Fletcher.

Last year Peter's older brother Richard sculled with Fletcher but they failed to reach the Rio final and eventually finished seventh while Peter was a member of the lightweight four that also ended the Olympics in seventh place.

Richard retired from the sport following the Rio Games.

Cassells, 22, also from Coleraine, and Scrimgeour followed their World Championship win in 2015 with a European title last year and went on to win bronze at the Worlds in the non-Olympic class lightweight pair and will start the 2017 season in the same boat.

Nixon, 23, from Enniskillen was a member of the women's quadruple sculls that narrowly missed out on Olympic qualification last year but went on to win a world title in the women's four later in the season.

She is joined in the quad by under-23 world champions Hodgkins-Byrne and Leyden, as well as Bryan.

Sir David Tanner, British Rowing Performance Director, said: "The first World Cup of the season is a great place to test the water at the start of the new Olympiad. While we know there is still work to do in all areas of the team, I'm excited about the significant new talent that will be on show in Belgrade."

Great Britain squad

Men's eight: Tom Ford, Tim Clarke, Callum McBrierty, Cameron Buchan, Tom Ransley, Adam Neill, James Rudkin, Lance Tredell, Henry Fieldman (cox).

Men's four: Mohamed Sbihi, Will Satch, Matthew Tarrant, Stewart Innes.

Men's pair: Boat one - Jacob Dawson, Matt Rossiter. Boat two - Sam Arnot, Thomas Jeffery.

Men's quadruple scull: Jack Beaumont, John Collins, Tom Barras, Jonny Walton.

Men's quadruple scull (U23): Harry Leask, Harry Glenister, Andrew Joel, Rowan Law.

Men's single scull: Peter Lambert.

Lightweight men's double scull: Boat one - Peter Chambers, Will Fletcher. Boat two - Zak Lee-Green, Samuel Mottram.

Lightweight men's pair: Sam Scrimgeour, Joel Cassells.

Women's pair: Karen Bennett, Holly Norton.

Women's quadruple scull: Mathilda Hodgkins-Byrne, Beth Bryan, Holly Nixon, Jessica Leyden.

Women's single scull: Victoria Thornley.

Lightweight women's double scull: Boat one - Katherine Copeland, Charlotte Booth. Boat two - Maddie Arlett, Emily Craig.

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