Andy North expects Darren Clarke to send out his rookies before Sunday

Former Ryder Cup vice-captain Andy North does not believe European skipper Darren Clarke will try to "hide" any of his rookies in this week's contest at Hazeltine.

Half of Clarke's 12-man team will be making their debut in the biennial contest as Europe seek an unprecedented fourth straight win, the most for an away tie since seven played at Brookline in 1999.

Andy North expects Darren Clarke to send out his rookies before Sunday

On that occasion European captain Mark James opted to leave Jarmo Sandelin, Jean van de Velde and Andrew Coltart on the sidelines for the first two days as the visitors built a 10-6 lead.

However, when that trio were sent out third, fourth and fifth respectively in the singles they all suffered heavy defeats - as did Lee Westwood and Clarke in the top two matches - as the home side staged a brilliant comeback.

With that experience in mind, North - who was an assistant to Tom Watson at Gleneagles in 2014 and played at The Belfry in 1985 after winning his second US Open title earlier that year - does not believe Clarke will adopt a similar strategy.

"If you qualify, you play and I don't think Darren will hide the rookies until Sunday," North said. "And besides, one of the rookies is the Masters champion, Danny Willett.

"They can all play, but can six rookies all play well at the same time? They play around the world a lot more these days but until you stand on that first tee after they have played your national anthem, you don't know if you can handle it.

"You look around and see your team-mates and think 'I better not mess this up'."

Although the last American victory also came with six rookies in the side at Valhalla in 2008, this year's team features just two in Brooks Koepka and Ryan Moore.

Andy North expects Darren Clarke to send out his rookies before Sunday

World number 31 Moore was chosen by US captain Davis Love as his final wild card on Sunday, three hours after losing out to Rory McIlroy in a play-off for the Tour Championship.

That meant there was no place on the team for world number seven Bubba Watson and although North described the two-time Masters champion as a "great team-mate" in 2014, he still feels the home side will win.

"I think we deserve to be favourites just on world rankings and experience and I will be surprised and disappointed if we don't win," North added.

"But just because you are favourites does not mean you will win and just because you are playing well it doesn't mean you will win either. It's all about who gets it done over the three days."

Eight players qualified for the team automatically, with Love then naming Rickie Fowler, Matt Kuchar and JB Holmes as his first three wild cards on September 12.

The final selection was kept until after the Tour Championship to avoid the sort of situation which occurred in 2014, when Billy Horschel won the BMW Championship and Tour Championship to claim the overall FedEx Cup title, but only after Tom Watson's team for Gleneagles had been finalised.

"Ryan fits so well with what we have in place," Love said. "He's an easy-going, thoughtful guy, but don't be fooled, Ryan's a great match-play player with an incredible match-play record.

"He has guts and determination and everyone saw that (on Sunday). We are thrilled to have him with us."

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