Geoff Walker isn’t ready for his time on Team Canada to end. He and Team Gushue are looking to defend their national title as the 2018 Tim Hortons Brier gets underway Saturday in Regina.

The Beaverlodge-born curler won his first ever Brier title in 2017. He think his rink is again the strongest in the country.

“We’re really confident in our ability and the way we’ve played over the last two or three seasons on a consistent basis. We like our chances in every event that we enter, and we’re confident that we can win all those events as well.”

It’s been six weeks since Team Gushue last competed together at the Canadian Open in January, largely because of the 2018 Olympic Games. They took two and a half weeks off, and have been spend the last few weeks ramping up practices and workouts.

Walker sees the time off as both a positive and negative for their game.

“It’s huge to be able to recharge and be really well rested and comfortable going in; that’s obviously an advantage. A disadvantage can be that you might be a little bit rusty going in, especially the first few games.”

Getting wins in those initial matches will be key, Walker argues, even if the defending champions aren’t playing at their best. Grande Prairie’s Tom Sallows will again be joining the team as fifth.

The 2018 Tim Horton’s Brier runs March 3rd to 11th. The format has changed this year, with the pool expanded from 12 to 16 teams and the round-robin swapped out for two pools of eight teams.