McGinley to announce assistants: Torrance, Howell and Smyth in the frame

McGinley to announce assistants: Torrance, Howell and Smyth in the frame
 Paul McGinley at the "Year to Go"  press conference for the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles. Picture: Thos Caffrey /  www.golffile.ie

Paul McGinley at the "Year to Go"  press conference for the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles. Picture: Thos Caffrey / www.golffile.ie

European Ryder Cup skipper Paul McGinley is to make an announcement on his Vice-Captains at Government Buildings in Dublin on March 6.

A press conference will be streamed live on Sky Sports News from Taoiseach Enda Kenny's office from 11.30 am.

The choice of a venue outside Scotland is believed to have more to do with McGinley's presence in the city for that evening's Carr Golf sponsored Irish Golf Writers' Awards Dinner at Portmarnock Golf Club than the announcement of an potentially Irish-flavoured back room team.

While Pádraig Harrington cannot be ruled out, he's still in with a mathematical chance of making the team and it appears likely that Scotland's Sam Torrance will be named as an assistant for Gleneagles.

McGinley appointed the 61-year old Scot as Great Britain and Ireland captain for last year's Seve Trophy in France and has always referred to the winning 2002 Ryder Cup captain as a big influence on him.

With future Ryder Cup captaincy candidates Miguel Ángel Jiménez and Thomas Bjorn also battling to make the 2014 side and with McGinley's relationship with Darren Clarke at a low ebb following their bitter battle for the 2014 job, the list of obvious candidates is a short one.

While past captains José María Olazábal and Colin Montgomerie cannot be totally ruled out, it would be no great surprise if Irish veteran Des Smyth, 61, and McGinley's former Ryder Cup team mate and ex-ISM stablemate David Howell are called up.

While Smyth has not played a European Tour event since 2009, he is well known and widely respected and very much a man McGinley would rely on for advice.

Howell might only be 38 but he is far closer to the current crop of players and he also has a wealth of team golf experience with two wins in the Ryder Cup (2004, 2006), the Seve Trophy (2003 and 2005) and the Royal Trophy (2006 and 2013) under his belt. 

US captain Tom Watson has already named 63-year old Andy North and 71-year old Ray Floyd as his assistants.