Goodall to replace Ward
British number two out of Davis Cup tie with back injury
Last Updated: 04/04/12 4:24pm
Josh Goodall: British number three is ranked 253 in the world
Josh Goodall will replace the injured James Ward in the Great Britain team for the Davis Cup clash with Belgium in Glasgow this weekend.
The British number two has been forced out of the Europe/Africa Zone Group I tie with a back injury, with Goodall stepping in alongside Dan Evans in the singles.
With Andy Murray choosing not to play Ward's absence is another blow and leaves the hosts without a player ranked in the world's top 250.
Goodall, who is ranked 253rd, will go straight in at number one for the tie, with Evans, the hero last time out against Slovakia, down at 344th.
Given Belgium's four players are all ranked in the top 150, Britain's chances of victory now look slimmer than ever, but Goodall is on a run of five straight victories having won a Futures tournament in Germany last week.
"It's bad luck for James, but a great opportunity for me," said the 26-year-old. "I'm in good form, and I know from previous experience what a great atmosphere you get at the Braehead Arena for a Davis Cup tie, so I can't wait."
Captain Leon Smith is looking for a sixth successive victory since taking over the role from John Lloyd in 2010, and he has backed Goodall to justify his selection.
"It's a shame for James, because he was hitting really well in training, but Josh is more than capable of stepping up for this tie," said Smith.
"He's got Davis Cup experience here, he's motivated and he's playing really well right now."