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On song Thomas joins Australian idol

Biased Banter

Yass youngster Brad Thomas grew up watching Australian coach Steve Glasson bowling on TV and now he has the former world champion as his coach.

Thomas was one of two ACT bowlers picked for this year's trans-Tasman Tests against New Zealand, at the Howick Bowling Club, in Auckland, from March 17-23.

The 16-year-old Tumut High School student is part of the Australian junior boys' team, while Tuggeranong's Andrew Howie was picked in the men's development side.

It will be the pair's first caps for their country.

For Thomas, it will also be his first trip overseas after getting a phone call from Glasson while he was shopping in Wagga.

Glasson had his eye on Thomas for a while before inviting him into a squad of 10, which has been whittled down to five. Thomas will skip the pairs and fours for Australia.

''We used to watch [Glasson] on TV all the time really, so it's pretty good having him as your coach,'' Thomas told Biased Banter.

''Most people look up to him, he's a really good bowler.''

Glasson was the 2004 world outdoor singles champion.

Thomas has been playing bowls since he was 10, starting out at Tumut RSL, but a desire to improve his game led him to ACT club Tuggeranong, before he switched to Yass to reduce his weekly commute.

He is the reigning ACT junior singles and pairs champion.

''We had to watch dad a lot when I was 10, so I was around the greens watching all the time anyway, so dad just said, 'give it a go and see if you like it','' he said.

Thomas' main worry is adapting to the quick New Zealand greens.

Goulburn struggle

The ACT men and women have plenty of work to do before the Australian sides championships in Bendigo in April after both lost 3-0 to NSW in Goulburn on Wednesday.

Both NSW teams were littered with Australian representatives and proved far too strong in the three-Test series at the Goulburn Railway Bowling Club played over two days.

ACT men's coach Kevin Antoine said both squads would knuckle down on the practice green to get ready for the national championships.

The ACT's under-25 teams both lost 2-1 against NSW.

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