Team Canada Ready to Rock in Basel, Switzerland

Canadian curling fans can turn their attention to Switzerland tomorrow for the start of the 2012 World Men’s Curling Championship, which takes place Saturday March 31 to Sunday April 8. Twelve of the world’s top men’s curling teams will take to the ice at the St. Jakobshalle in Basel.

Tim Hortons Brier Champions, Ontario's Glenn Howard (right) with (l-r) Craig Savill, Brent Laing, and Wayne Middaugh (Photo Michael Burns)

Team Canada is represented by Glenn Howard’s national championship-winning rink, Team Ontario, which includes third Wayne Middaugh, second Brent Laing and lead Craig Savill. Howard defeated Alberta’s Kevin Koe in Saskatoon to earn his fourth Brier title and the chance to win a fourth career world title. Also competing in Basel are teams from China, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, New Zealand, Norway, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA. Canadian fans will recognize some familiar faces, in particular Norway’s Thomas Ulsrud, Sweden’s Niklas Edin and 2011 Ford World Men’s Curling Championship silver medalist, Tom Brewster of Scotland.  The host Swiss will be skipped by Jan Hauser, who won curling bronze at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Team USA, rookies at the World level, sports a Canadian connection: skip Heath McCormick, a dual American-Canadian citizen, has won provincial junior and mixed titles, as well as competing in provincial men’s championships in Ontario. Team Canada arrived in Switzerland earlier this week and has been getting acclimatized. After team meetings Friday morning, Howard and crew will hit the ice for their first practice. “Everyone is ready to start play and get this thing going,” reports National Team Coach Rick Lang from Basel. TSN’s exclusive live coverage begins on Saturday at 8 a.m. ET with Canada’s opening draw against France. Coverage includes select Team Canada draws plus the playoffs and Final. Team line-ups, news, live scores and more can been found on the event website: