Spotlight on Westwood, Clarke
London - World No 2 Lee Westwood and British Open champion Darren Clarke will lead the Britain and Ireland team in next week's Seve Trophy match against continental Europe, organisers said on Tuesday.
World No 18 Ian Poulter is also in the side captained by Ireland's Paul McGinley who will defend the trophy they won two years ago in Paris.
"It is a huge boost for our team that players of the calibre of Lee, Darren and Ian have opted to play next week. These are players with big worldwide reputations and impressive Ryder Cup pedigrees," McGinley said in a statement.
"I think we have an extremely strong side with a good blend of youth and experience."
The European team include six players in the world's top 50 including in-form Dane Thomas Bjorn, who has won back-to-back Tour titles, Italian teenager Matteo Manassero and experienced Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez.
"It is great to see so many great champions in the field and so many fantastic young prospects like Matteo Manassero," said European captain Jean Van de Velde.
"With eight rookies in the two teams, it means that 40 percent of the sides are newcomers to the Seve Trophy and this will be great preparation for the day they step up to play in the Ryder Cup."
The event takes place from Sept. 15-18 with a series of fourballs, greensomes, foursomes and singles matches.
Britain and Ireland have won the trophy five times and Europe once since it was started up by Spanish former world No 1 Seve Ballesteros who died this year.
Britain and Ireland - Lee Westwood (England), Ian Poulter (England), Darren Clarke (Northern Ireland), Ross Fisher (England), Robert Rock (England), Simon Dyson (England), Jamie Donaldson (Wales), David Horsey (England), Mark Foster (England), Scott Jamieson (Scotland).
Europe - Thomas Bjorn (Denmark), Matteo Manassero (Italy), Alex Noren (Sweden), Francesco Molinari (Italy), Pablo Larrazabal (Spain), Alvaro Quiroz (Spain), Nicolas Colsaerts (Belgium), Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spain), Anders Hansen (Denmark), Peter Hanson (Sweden)