SOUTHAMPTON’S James Foad has been selected to race in Great Britain’s men’s eight boat at the opening rowing World Cup of the season.

The Itchen Imperial Club member will compete in the event, in Belgrade, from May 4-6.

The inclusion of Foad, who was part of the crew that won silver at last summer’s world championships, further boosts his prospects of being included in the team for the London Olympics.

“World Cups are important competitions in their own right but this one will be more significant than usual as it gives us the first glimpse of the potential 2012 racing form of our crews,” said GB Rowing Team Performance Director David Tanner. “We are always ambitious to do well and will want to see a number of crews on the Belgrade podium. We will take into account performances in Belgrade as we shape the team for the remainder of the season.”

The final build-up to London 2012 includes three international world cup regattas starting in Belgrade on the May Bank Holiday weekend before moving on to Lucerne from May 25-27 and then Munich from June 15-17.