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Britain and Ireland to defend the Vivendi Seve Trophy in Paris

Britain and Ireland will defend the Vivendi Seve Trophy in Paris but will be without four strong players. Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Paul Casey have turned down the match and world number one Luke Donald is at the FedEx Cup play-offs in the USA.

However, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Darren Clarke will all put on their golf shoes and compete.

Former European Ryder Cup team member and GB & Ireland captain Paul McGinley said: "I think we have an extremely strong side with a good blend."

Europe’s 2012 Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal defended the absence of the leading players and said: "I'm sad that all of our top players are not going to be playing in the Seve Trophy after his death this year.

"But I also know that with the top players in the world they do have their commitments like the FedEx Cup in America, getting world ranking points and in Luke Donald's case trying to finish top of both the European and US money lists.

"So they cannot appear at every event, and I am sorry they won't be there but because I understand their situation I certainly will not hold it against them at the Ryder Cup in a year's time."

McGinley, who played and won in the event in 2006 and 2007, added: "It is a huge boost for our team that players of the calibre of Lee, Darren and Ian have opted to play.

"These are players with big worldwide reputations and impressive Ryder Cup pedigrees.

"It is certain that many of the members of our team will go on to represent Europe in the Ryder Cup, so this experience of team golf cannot be underestimated."

Like Olazabal, McGinley also defended the decisions of McDowell and McIlroy not to compete and said: "I'm not going to comment, so don't drag me into that, and besides I'm not going to criticise any players not playing next week. All I can say is that I would have loved them both to play."

Continental Europe are 5-1 down in the series will also be without world superstars such as Martin Kaymer, Robert Karlsson and Sergio Garcia.

The teams will compete in fourballs, greensomes, foursomes and singles over the four days.

Great Britain and Ireland: Lee Westwood (Eng), Ian Poulter (Eng), Darren Clarke (NI), Simon Dyson (Eng), Ross Fisher (Eng), Mark Foster (Eng), Robert Rock (Eng), Jamie Donaldson (Wal), David Horsey (Eng), Scott Jamieson (Sco). Captain: Paul McGinley (Ire)

Continental Europe: Francesco Molinari (Ita), Anders Hansen (Den), Thomas Bjorn (Den), Matteo Manassero (Ita), Alvaro Quiros (Spa), Alex Noren (Swe), Pablo Larrazabal (Spa), Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spa), Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel), Peter Hanson (Swe). Captain: Jean Van de Velde (Fra)

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