GREAT Britain international rower Alex Gregory is set to join Zac Purchase on the plane to Beijing after all as he was named as one of two official reserves for the Olympics.

Worcester Rowing Club’s Matt Beechey has also been picked for next week’s world championships in the GB lightweight quadruple scull who won bronze at last month’s World Cup regatta in Poland.

Wormington’s Gregory was dejected after losing his seat in the GB heavyweight quadruple scull through injury just days before last month’s Olympic qualifying regatta.

It was compounded by the team management not even telling him he had been replaced before informing the press.

The crew then missed out on a Beijing slot by just one place without the 24-year-old Evesham RC man on board.

But since recovering from his back injury, he has been training with the GB team at their altitude camp high in the Austrian Alps, filling in for rowers who are injured or ill.

He has been rewarded by winning the slot as the specialist sculling reserve for the men’s double scull and single in China, though he could also be asked to fill in a sweep boat.

Though travelling as an illness or injury substitute when the team leave at the end of the month, he could still win a call-up to race if someone drops out.

It happened at the last Olympics when the eights strokeman was too ill to race the heat and in Sydney when a double sculler broke his ankle days before the Games.

Beechey’s event does not feature in the Olympics and his crewmate Rob Williams has won the spare man’s lightweight slot in Beijing.

But the 31-year-old will be heading to Austria next week for his 12th world championships after one appearance as a junior, two at under 23 level and eight in the seniors.

Beechey missed out on winning his first Henley title in dreadful storm conditions last week when his GB 72kg crew lost out narrowly in the final to a heavier California outfit.

But, after bronze in Poznan four weeks ago with Williams, Simon Jones and Alasdair Leighton-Crawford, he can travel to Linz with great hopes of adding to the world silver he won in 2000 in the GB eight.

Rock rower Alex Holden-Smith was also hoping to race in the GB eight in the world under 23 championships in Brandenburg this week.

But, with a squad of nine rowers picked for the crew, the Bewdley RC rower lost out in seat racing and misses out on the chance to add to the coxed four bronze he won in Glasgow last year.