Of course, this is no bad thing. The international team match down in Bloemfontein is the Protea Match, which is notoriously hard for outside teams to win (the last being Steve Thomas' 2008 GB Rifle Team if I remember correctly) given the ability of the home side to field the best shooters from widest possible selection and the fickle winds of the General de Wet range.
Some stats for the terminally-geeky:
- Every single team member except the one new cap has been on a Palma Tour
- All but two of the team have been a World Team Champion at least once, with some members of the team having racked up as many as 6 Palma Match Gold Medals
- The new cap is a World Under 25 Team Champion
- Four Palma Match-winning coaches have been selected
- Three team members have won individual Palma or Target Rifle World Championships
Addendum: I am delighted to see that the captain has also been farsighted enough to extend the idea of a training squad to non-touring individuals. I firmly believe that the GB Palma Team's training programme, which forms part of the team selection process, has been a keystone of the team's continued success; and something to which I owe no small debt for the improvement in my shooting over the past decade.