European Curling Championships: Reigning champion Bruce Mouat faces play-off

Bruce Mouat
Bruce Mouat's rink beat Sweden in last year's final

Reigning men's champion Bruce Mouat faces a play-off against two other rinks to represent Scotland at the European Curling Championships.

Scottish Curling has chosen former women's world champion Eve Muirhead ahead of two other teams to play in the finals in Sweden in November.

But it could not split three men's teams currently in the world's top 20.

"We're all good friends but will park that for rivalry when we get on the ice," said Mouat.

The 24-year-old will face Glen Muirhead's 2018 Olympic rink and Ross Paterson's World Curling Tour Grand Slam winners.

Team Mouat are currently ranked fifth in the world, with Paterson's rink seventh and Team Muirhead, skipped by Eve's brother, sitting 16th.

"We're in a really good spot," Mouat added to BBC Scotland. "We obviously won the Europeans last year and performed really well towards the end of the season as well. We've been training really hard to make sure we come out firing."

The three-team play-off will be held at Perth's Dewars Centre from 10-13 October in a double round robin, with the top two progressing to a best-of-three-game final.

There was controversy in February when Muirhead's rink was chosen to represent Scotland at the World Championship despite Sophie Jackson's team beating the 2013 world champion's team in the national final.

Jackson, whose team were initially overlooked because they had committed to the Winter University Games, won an appeal against the decision and her rink went on to finish 10th of the 13 teams.

Scottish Curling says two-time former winner Muirhead was chosen for the European finals on selection criteria based on World Curling Tour rankings, results at major championships and records against likely European Championship opponents.

Muirhead, whose rink finished sixth last season while she has been recovering from hip surgery, is currently ranked 13th in the world but leads the only Scottish rink inside the world top 50.

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