Nick Faldo has named England’s Simon Dyson and Scot Marc Warren as his two wild cards for Britain and Ireland’s defence of the Seve Trophy at The Heritage near Dublin next week.
Continental Europe captain Seve Ballesteros, meanwhile, has chosen fellow Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Dane Thomas Bjorn as the last two members of his side.
With Padraig Harrington having pulled out yesterday because of fatigue there will not be a single Irishman in the home team.
Dyson is the next highest-ranked player Faldo could have gone for after Luke Donald, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood also decided not to play in the match, but on that basis David Howell would have been his second pick.
However, Howell has been falling down the rankings this season whereas Warren, last season’s European Tour Rookie of the Year, won the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles only three weeks ago and was named by Colin Montgomerie there as a candidate for next year’s Ryder Cup.
Faldo, who will also lead Europe against America, said: “Captaining the Great Britain and Ireland team offers me a great opportunity to see some of the young players who have been performing well on tour this season in action at a match-play event.
“This was the most important factor for me when making my wild card selections. With that in mind, these were two obvious choices for me.
“In Marc Warren I’m bringing a player to the team that has come through a sudden-death play-off to claim each of his four professional wins, proving that he has a cool head under pressure.
“He has also partnered Monty with great success in the World Cup (they lost a play-off to Germany in Barbados last December).
“In Simon Dyson, we have a player that has proved he can perform under the spotlight following a gritty performance at this year’s US PGA Championship.
“On the whole, I’m delighted with the players that I will be working with next week and wish Seve and his team the very best of luck for the tournament.”
If Ballesteros had gone by the world rankings his two selections would have been Bjorn and Johan Edfors, but Edfors has also had a disappointing season while Fernandez-Castano won the Italian Open in May and was sixth in Switzerland two weeks ago.
Ballesteros has suffered from withdrawals even more than Faldo as Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson, Niclas Fasth and Anders Hansen – potentially his top four – have turned down the tournament, as have Jose Maria Olazabal, Carl Pettersson and Bernhard Langer.
“I’m delighted to have someone of Thomas’s experience in the team and we know what a great competitor he is in this format,” said Ballesteros.
“Gonzalo is one of the most exciting young players on the Tour and I believe he will play a good role in the team.
“I hope this year we will redress the score in the Seve Trophy series (Britain and Ireland lead 3-1).”
Great Britain and Ireland: Justin Rose, Paul Casey, Colin Montgomerie, Bradley Dredge, Graeme Storm, Oliver Wilson, Phillip Archer, Nick Dougherty. Wild cards: Simon Dyson, Marc Warren. Non-playing captain: Nick Faldo.
Continental Europe: Robert Karlsson, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Mikko Ilonen, Raphael Jacquelin, Soren Hansen, Gregory Havret, Peter Hanson, Markus Brier. Wild cards: Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Thomas Bjorn.