Albion's Michael Grattan and Invercargill-Old Boys' Ryan Meyer will make their Hawke Cup debuts this weekend when the Southland cricket team open their 2012/13 campaign against Otago Country in Alexandra.
Grattan and Meyer are the new faces in the Southland team which will attempt to defend their Southern Zone Hawke Cup title which they won last season to progress to a Hawke Cup challenge against holders Hamilton.
Grattan is a top-order batsman and off-spin bowler and has been rewarded for some good club form this season with his selection in the season opener.
Ryan Meyer is an Australian recruit with the former Australian under-19 squad member in Southland working for the Southland Cricket Association and also trying to enhance his own playing options.
He is currently in Rangiora playing for Otago A against Canterbury A as is fellow Southland player Ryan Duffy.
Meyer is a left-arm wrist spinner and will also bat in the top-order for Southland as they go in search of run-scoring options this season.
Southland have plenty of wicket-keeping options in the squad with Hamish O'Brien an Otago under-19 wicket-keeper, Ryan Duffy the current Otago A wicket-keeper and Shaun Fitzgibbon previously wicketkeeping for New Zealand under-19.
It will be the youngster O'Brien who will take the gloves in Alexandra with Fitzgibbon and Duffy left to concentrate on their batting.The two-day game this weekend will be played at Molyneaux Park in Alexandra and will be Southland's sole fixture before Christmas.
The will play other Southern Zone games against North Otago, Mid Canterbury and South Canterbury after Christmas.
Jason Domigan (c) (Invercargill-Old Boys), Mark Beer (Metro Tigers), Hamish Cooke (Metro Tigers), Ryan Duffy (Metro Tigers), Shaun Fitzgibbon (Marist), Michael Grattan (Albion), Jonathan Hodson (Invercargill-Old Boys), Cullum Johnstone (Appleby), Ryan Meyer (Invercargill-Old Boys), Hamish O'Brien (Metro Tigers), Rhuebyn Prattley (Albion), Simon Wadworth (Invercargill-Old Boys).
- The Southland Times