Irish quartet to lead off for GB&I in Vagliano Trophy
GB&I's 2017 Vagliano Trophy team. Back row (left to right): Leona Maguire, India Clyburn, Helen Hewlett (team manager), Sophie Lamb, Alice Hewson. Front row (l to r): Olivia Mehaffey,  Maria Dunne, Elaine Farquharson-Black, Gemma Clews, Annabel Wilson.  Picture by Cal Carson Golf Agency.

GB&I's 2017 Vagliano Trophy team. Back row (left to right): Leona Maguire, India Clyburn, Helen Hewlett (team manager), Sophie Lamb, Alice Hewson. Front row (l to r): Olivia Mehaffey,  Maria Dunne, Elaine Farquharson-Black, Gemma Clews, Annabel Wilson.  Picture by Cal Carson Golf Agency.

Ireland's big four will lead the way for Great Britain and Ireland in the opening foursomes at the Vagliano Trophy in Italy on Friday.

World No 1 Leona Maguire will partner Olivia Mehaffey in the opening foursomes against Swedes Linnea Strom and Julie Engstrom before Skerries' Maria Dunne and Lurgan's Annabel Wilson take on Finland's Matilda Castren and Switzerland's Morgane Metraux.

Great Britain and Ireland have not won the biennial Vagliano Trophy match since 2005, which means that Team Europe are bidding for a sixth win in a row at Circolo de Golf Bogogno near Milan.

However, GB&I skipper Elaine Farquharson-Black has a formidable side and believes they can bring home the trophy.

"We are looking forward to an exciting match in Milan," said Farquharson Black, whose side features Curtis Cup players Maguire, Dunne, Mehaffey and Alice Hewson.

"GB&I has not won the match since 2005, but we came very close in Malone two years ago, with a couple of matches just tipping the wrong way for us on the final hole.

“The format has changed this year with the team reduced [from nine] to eight players and everyone playing in every game, so we need to make sure we are firing on all cylinders from the start.

“The team has been playing excellent golf in recent weeks with Leona winning the Ladies‘ British Amateur; Olivia helping Arizona State win the NCAA title; Gemma winning the Welsh Stroke Play and Maria winning the Irish Women's Stroke Play."

Junior Vagliano team captain Claire Coughlan-Ryan, centre front row, with the GB and I squad of six for the Under-16s' Junior Vagliano Trophy match against Team Europe's youngsters. Back row (left to right): Ffion Tynan, Caitlin Whitehead, Lily May Humphreys, Carys Worby.  Front: Euphemie Rhodes, Claire Coughlan-Ryan, Sarah Byrne. Picture by Cal Carson Golf Agency.

Junior Vagliano team captain Claire Coughlan-Ryan, centre front row, with the GB and I squad of six for the Under-16s' Junior Vagliano Trophy match against Team Europe's youngsters. Back row (left to right): Ffion Tynan, Caitlin Whitehead, Lily May Humphreys, Carys Worby.  Front: Euphemie Rhodes, Claire Coughlan-Ryan, Sarah Byrne. Picture by Cal Carson Golf Agency.

Douglas' Sara Byrne will tee it up in the Junior Vagliano Trophy for Under 16s under the captaincy of Cork's Claire Coughlan-Ryan and make her debut in the anchor foursomes, partnering England's Carys Worby against Austria's Isabella Holpfer and Sweden's Amanda Linner.

The foursomes line-ups for the opening morning at Bogogno Golf Club are:

Vagliano Trophy

GB and I names first

Foursomes

  1. 08.00 Leona Maguire (Ireland) and Olivia Mehaffey (Ireland) v Linnea Strom (Sweden) and Julie Engstrom (Sweden).Sa
  2. 08.10 Maria Dunne (Ireland) and Annabel Wilson (Ireland) v Matilda Castren (Finland) and Morgane Metraux (Switzerland).
  3. 08.20 Alice Hewson (England) and India Clyburn (England) v Puk Lyng Thomsen (Denmark) and Dewi Weber (Netherlands).
  4. 08.30 Gemma Clews (England) and Sophie Lamb (England) v Virginia Elena Carta (Italy) v Albane Venezuela (Switzerland).

Junior Vagliano Trophy

GB and I names first

Foursomes

  1. 08.40 Euphemie Rhodes (England) and Lily May Humphreys (England) v Emilie Alba Paltrinieri (Italy) and Alessia Nobilio (Italy).
  2. 08.50 Ffion Tynan (England) and Caitlin Whitehead (England) v Bianca Fernandez Garcia-Poggio (Spain).
  3. 09.00 Sara Byrne (Ireland) and Carys Worby (England) v Isabella Holpfer (Austria) and Amanda Linner (Sweden).

+There will be eight afternoon singles in the Vagliano Trophy and six afternoon singles in the Junior Vagliano Trophy. The second-day schedule will be exactly the same as Friday's programme.