Andy Murray
Andy Murray and captain Leon Smith celebrate their 2015 Davis Cup success at Flanders Expo in Ghent Getty

Great Britain have confirmed an initial five-man team that will begin the defence of their Davis Cup crown next month.

Leon Smith's side return to World Group first-round action against Japan at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham between 4-6 March, a little over three months after clinching their first title since 1936 with a 3-1 victory over Belgium.

World number two Andy Murray, who led his country's charge in 2015 with a tireless effort in both singles and doubles competition, is back once again following his defeat to Novak Djokovic in January's Australian Open final. He has been absent from the court since wife Kim Sears gave birth to the couple's first child, Sophia Olivia, earlier in February.


Older brother Jamie retains his place after partnering Bruno Soares to doubles success in Melbourne. Kyle Edmund is also selected after making his tournament bow with a thrilling loss to Belgian number one David Goffin in November's final. The South African-born right-hander raced to a 2-0 lead in that opening tie at a sold-out Flanders Expo in Ghent before succumbing in five sets 3-6, 1-6, 6-2, 6-1, 6-0.

Dom Inglot will hope to appear for the first time since the 3-2 triumph over the United States in March 2015, while Dan Evans' last Davis Cup outing came with singles defeats to Australian duo Bernard Tomic and Thanasi Kokkinakis in last year's penultimate tie.

Japan are captained by Minoru Ueda and their team is spearheaded by number-six ranked Kei Nishikori. Competing alongside the 2014 US Open finalist against Great Britain will be clay specialist Taro Daniel, Yoshihito Nishioka and Yasutaka Uchiyama.

Elsewhere in the World Group, Djokovic will represent Serbia against Kazakhstan, but neither Roger Federer nor Stan Wawrinka are set to play for Switzerland in Italy. Argentina travel to face Poland in Gdansk, France host Canada and Germany welcome the Czech Republic. Australia square-off with the United States on grass and Belgium seek to bounce back from their final heartache at home to Croatia.