Manitoba teams skipped by Kaitlyn Lawes, Meghan Walter get Scotties wild-card spots

Teams skipped by Manitoba’s Kaitlyn Lawes, Alberta’s Casey Scheidegger and Manitoba’s Meghan Walter will fill the three wild-card positions at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

With all the provincial and territorial championships now complete, they are the top three non-qualified teams in this week’s Canadian team rankings.

Curling Canada officially announced the wild-card entries for the 18-team competition on Tuesday. The playdowns are set for Feb. 17-26 at the Sandman Centre in Kamloops, B.C.

Lawes is ranked fourth behind defending Scotties champion Kerri Einarson of Manitoba, Ontario champion Rachel Homan and Manitoba champion Jennifer Jones. Einarson and her rink will be aiming for a fourth consecutive title.

British Columbia champion Clancy Grandy holds the fifth spot ahead of Scheidegger and Walter.

Laura Walker will fill in at third on Team Lawes for Selena Njegovan, who was granted a pregnancy leave by Curling Canada. Another mixed doubles player, Lisa Weagle, will serve as team coach.

There are still provincial playdowns on the men’s calendar ahead of the March 3-12 Brier in London, Ont.