Shane Garvey will proudly skip a NSW team on his home green in a star-studded two-day clash against Victoria at Wiseman Park Bowling Club starting this morning.
After making his debut for Australia in New Zealand in January and with 150-plus caps for NSW, Garvey will skip a rink that includes former Corrimal star John Green.
The annual three test interstate series has been played since 1980, with two tests today and the third test tomorrow.
The series will feature seven men's national team members - Garvey, Matt Baus (Swansea), Mark Casey (St Johns Park) and Aron Sherriff (Ettalong Memorial) for NSW - and Matthew Flapper, teenage sensation Dylan Fisher and Barrie Lester for Victoria.
NSW also takes on Victoria in three women's tests, plus a men's and women's under-25s series.
Shell Cove's Australian women's star Karen Murphy will spearhead the NSW team with Bomaderry's Sarah Boddington to play lead for another Australian star Kelsey Cottrell.
Warilla's Aaron Spears and Jesse Noronha will represent NSW in the men's under-25 series, while former Warilla bowler Naomi Elliott, now with Cabramatta and Jessica Evans (Bomaderry) have been selected for the women's NSW under-25s team.
In the men's, NSW are coming off a clean-sweep victory over ACT in Goulburn, but the Victorians will be a tougher assignment, with the last six series decided 2-1. It is the eighth straight year Garvey has skipped a NSW team against Victoria, with NSW winning four of the past six years, including the last two years at Wodonga and Nelson Bay.
"It'll be a very tight series," Garvey predicted.
"Victoria have their best squad in recent years. Graeme Archer's a Scottish international, Todd Simmons is an ex-Australia rep, Barry Lester won a Commonwealth Games bronze medal. Right through their teams there's great players.
"We've got a very strong side too and we'll have to play well to win."
Wiseman Park officials are hoping for a big turnout with plenty of parking available across the road at Beaton Park Leisure Centre.
It is the first time a Zone 16 club has hosted a NSW v Victoria series since 1992 at Port Kembla and Western Suburbs bowling clubs.
The series is final preparation for both states ahead of the Australian Sides Championship in Bendigo in late April in which NSW will be desperate to take the title from defending champions Queensland.
NSW men's team: Matt Baus (lead, Raymond Terrace), Terry Antram (second, Soldiers Point), Wayne Turley (third Taren Point), Aron Sherriff (skip, Ettalong Memorial).
Mark Berghofer (lead, St Johns Park), Ray Pearse (second, Alexandria-Erskineville), John Green (third, Taren Point), Shane Garvey (skip, Wiseman Park). Cory Daley (lead, Park Beach), Carl Healey (second, Roselands), Ben Twist (third, St Johns Park), Mark Casey (skip, St Johns Park).