MATTHEW Langridge, racing for the first time this year in Great Britain’s colours, will contest a world cup final with the men’s eight tomorrow, Sunday.
They finished second behind Poland, fourth in last month’s European Championship, in a repechage this afternoon at Lake Aiguebelette in France.
It was the crew’s second race of the day after they had placed third, behind favourites USA and France, in the morning’s first heat.
Langridge, a medal-winner at the past two Olympic Games, is one of four changes to a British line-up that won a bronze medal in Belgrade.
Fellow Leander Club member Alan Sinclair and University of London Boat Club’s Nathaniel O’Donnell are the other new faces.
They are coxed by Henry Fieldman, who stands in for world champion Phelan Hill.
Langridge, 31, missed April's senior team trials so he could spend extra time training after discovering damage to discs in his back and neck in January.
He travelled to Serbia, but as a spare.
Will Satch stroked the eight to a comfortable second spot in the repechage on Saturday, a position they held for the most part following a fast start from France.
The French eventually dropped down the order to fourth, leaving the British boat to keep China, in third, a safe distance away.
In the earlier heat, USA led by halfway from Poland – an advantage they made bigger in the closing stages.
France were second while Great Britain, fourth after 500m, moved through to third position by the finish ahead of the fading Poles.
It means Northwich-born Langridge and company join 14 other British crews to have qualified for the final across 11 events.
“It’s the first time this year we’ve have tested ourselves against a truly world class field,” said David Tanner, GB Rowing’s performance director.
“It’s a reminder too of the high standards we have to meet as we move towards the World Championships [later this summer].”
Tomorrow’s finals will be broadcast live by BBC Sport via its red button service, from 9.30am.
A highlights programme follows on BBC Two at 4pm.
World Rowing Cup II
Lake Aigubelette, France
1 USA 5:29.080; 2 France 5:29.680; 3. Great Britain 5:33.430; 4. Poland 6:11.660
1 Belarus 5:34.510; 2 China 5:38.050; 3. Iran 5:59.290
1 Poland 5:36.010; 2 Great Britain 5:38.950; 3 China 5:42.250; 4 France 5:48.360; 5 Iran 5:54.900