Jones to replace Homan at curling World Cup final
Both Homan, Joanne Courtney expecting, timing conflicts with due dates
Team Jennifer Jones will replace Team Rachel Homan at the Curling World Cup final this May in Beijing.
Jones and third Kaitlyn Lawes will be joined by two substitute players at the May 8-12 competition. Shannon Birchard will play second and Jill Officer will play lead, organizers said Wednesday.
Birchard, who normally plays on Team Kerri Einarson, will fill in for Jocelyn Peterman. Officer, who spent over 16 seasons with Jones before stepping back this season, will replace Dawn McEwen. Organizers did not say why Peterman and McEwen were unavailable.
Homan's Ottawa-based team won the season-opening World Cup in Suzhou, China last September.
The rink is unable to return for the Grand Final because Homan and second Joanne Courtney are pregnant. Homan is due in mid-June, about a month before Courtney.
Birchard filled in on Team Jennifer Jones at last year's Scotties Tournament of Hearts when Lawes was in Pyeongchang to compete in mixed doubles at the Winter Olympics. Jones won the national title and went on to run the table at the world championship, with Birchard returning as an alternate.