Watch all four days of action from Germany on Sky Sports, starting on Thursday at 6pm on Sky Sports Arena; Gerwyn Price and Jonny Clayton won Wales’ first World Cup in 2020 and are favourites to retain their crown
Last Updated: 07/09/21 4:21pm
John Henderson has stepped in to replace Gary Anderson for Scotland at this week’s World Cup of Darts, where Wales will begin their title defence against Finland.
Gerwyn Price and Jonny Clayton memorably teamed up in Austria last year to win Wales their first World Cup crown and since then Price has gone on to win the World Championship and claim the number one spot, while Clayton has won both the Premier League and The Masters.
The pair are seeded second for the event, which features 32 nations competing in two-player teams in straight knock-out matches that feature both singles and doubles contests.
Wales became the fourth nation to win the tournament, joining 2019 champions Scotland on the roll of honour alongside England and the Netherlands, who have both won the competition on four occasions.
Scotland will have a new look pairing with World Matchplay champion Wright joined by Henderson who plays for the second consecutive year. Snakebite and Anderson opted against travelling in 2020 so it was Henderson and Robert Thornton that teamed up for the defence of the title.
Anderson will be missing again and Henderson as the next highest rank Scot on the Order of Merit will join Snakebite in bidding for a second Scottish triumph, which begins against Chinese debutants Jianfeng Lu and Wenqing Liu.
Top seeds England will also have a new look with James Wade returning for the first time since 2010 to lead the team chasing a first title since 2016 and they will start against Brazil’s Diogo Portela and Artur Valle.
The Machine will be partnered by Dave Chisnall who makes his third appearance with a third different partner having linked up with Adrian Lewis and Rob Cross on his two previous appearances.
The Netherlands are the only other team to lift the trophy and once again Michael van Gerwen will lead them, and he too has a third new partner with Dirk van Duijvenbode joining him in the team as the Dutch try to win for the first time without Raymond van Barneveld in the line-up.
Other notable match-ups include former finalists Australia – represented by Simon Whitlock and Damon Heta – up against Italy, while Thursday’s opening night will also see Singapore – including veteran star Paul Lim – meet Gibraltar.
Fourth seeds Belgium, for whom Dimitri Van den Bergh partners Kim Huybrechts, drew Croatia’s Boris Krcmar and Pero Ljubic while 2019 runners-up Ireland will take on Portugal as Grand Slam of Darts champion Jose de Sousa makes his second World Cup appearance, while Northern Ireland take on Hong Kong.
Host nation Germany, for whom Gabriel Clemens and Max Hopp reached the 2020 semi-finals, drew Canada in a tasty tie as Jeff Smith and Matt Campbell renew a partnership that reached the quarter-finals last year.
World Cup of Darts 2021: Draw
|(1) England v Brazil|
|Spain v South Africa|
|(8) Germany v Canada|
|Russia v Japan|
|(4) Belgium v Greece|
|Austria v Philippines|
|(5) Northern Ireland v Hong Kong|
|Republic of Ireland v Portugal|
|(2) Wales v Finland|
|Hungary v Lithuania|
|(7) Australia v Italy|
|USA v Sweden|
|(3) Netherlands v Denmark|
|Gibraltar v Singapore|
|(6) Scotland v China|
|Czech Republic v Poland|
Austria will play the Philippines, South Africa will face the new Spanish pairing of Jesus Noguera and Jose Justicia and Russia’s Boris Koltsov and Evgenii Izotov take on Japan’s Matsuda Jun and Yoshihisa Baba.
2019 quarter-finalists New Zealand will not be represented at the World Cup for the first time due to the ongoing difficulties with international travel which means Ben Robb and Warren Parry will be unable to compete in Jena.
Darts is back on your Sky Sports screens in September when the World Cup of Darts takes place in Germany, all four days of action will be live – coverage begins on Thursday September 9