Padraig Harrington (left) and Lee Westwood have both expressed an interest in the future Europe team captaincy

Europe captain Thomas Bjorn has picked Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Padraig Harrington and Luke Donald as vice-captains for this year’s Ryder Cup.

Westwood is a seven-time winner as a player in the contest against the US.

Harrington has been a vice-captain twice, while McDowell, who claimed the winning point in 2010, and Donald will make their debuts.

This year’s three-day event takes place at Paris’ Le Golf National from Friday, 28 September.

Europe will aim to regain the trophy after being defeated by the US in Hazeltine, Minnesota, two years ago.

The quartet could still qualify to play in the biennial tournament, but Westwood (117th) is the only player currently ranked inside the world’s top 200.

Westwood and Harrington have previously expressed an interest in the captaincy and could be rivals to succeed Bjorn and lead Europe in the 2020 contest at Whistling Straits in the US.

Bjorn, who has already selected Sweden’s Robert Karlsson as a vice-captain, said: “All five are widely respected throughout the game, are all current players who are well known to the players who will be in our team come September and they also all possess a knowledge of what to expect from the course at Le Golf National.

“You only need to look at the record books to see that their Ryder Cup pedigree speaks for itself. Each of them has played both home and away so they are well versed in the contest and know how to handle the special and unique atmosphere.”

He added that his selections have “strong personalities” and “forthright opinions” which can “only help” Europe’s hopes of winning the trophy.

Bjorn’s opposite number, US captain Jim Furyk has named Davis Love, Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker as assistants, although Woods has has said he wants to play on the team as well

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