The teams for the 2017 World Cup of Darts have been announced, and five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld will represent tournament favourites Netherlands along with world number one Michael van Gerwen, whilst Dave Chisnall will make his World Cup debut for reigning champions England, alongside Adrian Lewis.
The £300,000 tournament will be held from June 1st-4th at the Eissporthalle in Frankfurt and broadcast live on Sky Sports as 32 two-player nations compete for the title. Reigning champions England will be looking to secure World Cup glory for the fifth time in six years, but they’ll have to do so without 16-time world champion Phil Taylor.
‘The Power’ had been an ever-present since the tournament’s inaugural staging in 2010; winning the title on a record four occasions alongside Adrian Lewis. However, Taylor has slipped to 9th on the PDC Order of Merit, therefore world number five Chisnall will partner Lewis who is making his sixth appearance in this unique event.
Scotland will be represented by Gary Anderson and Peter Wright for a second time, after they reached the final together in 2015. Wright missed last year’s tournament due to personal reasons, but the UK Open champion’s return ensures Scotland are top seeds at this year’s event, as the pair are ranked second and third in the world respectively.
Two-time winners Netherlands will be third seeds in Frankfurt, with world number one Michael van Gerwen and World Cup ever-present Raymond van Barneveld renewing their fruitful partnership which saw them claim the title in 2014. The pair also reached the final of last year’s event, losing out to England in the decisive rubber.
UK Open finalist Gerwyn Price and former Lakeside world champion Mark Webster will represent Wales for a second successive year as fourth seeds, whilst Simon Whitlock and Kyle Anderson will be flying the flag for fifth seeds and former finalists Australia.
Sixth seeds Northern Ireland will be represented by Daryl Gurney and Brendan Dolan once again, whilst Mensur Suljovic partners the dimunitive Rowby-John Rodriguez for Austria. Elsewhere, brothers Kim and Ronny Huybrechts will be aiming to better their run to the final from 2013, as they fly the flag for eighth seeds Belgium.
Brazil will make their World Cup debut in 2017, spearheaded by Diogo Portela, the London-based star who competes on the PDC circuit. Portela will team up with Alexandre Sattin, who won a qualifier in his homeland to seal his spot.
Nevertheless, there has been an amendment to the original field of nations. Latvia have withdrawn and will subsequently be replaced by debutants Switzerland, whose team comprises former European Tour qualifier Thomas Junghans and Philipp Ruckstuhl.
Former World-Youth champion Max Hopp will once again spearhead Germany’s campaign, but the hosts have unveiled a new partnership in this year’s event, with Martin Schindler making his debut as partner to Hopp. This means that the combined age of the German team is 40 – the lowest in World Cup history.
2016 quarter-finalists Canada will be led by three-time world champion John Part, who makes his seventh successive appearance in this event. ‘Darth Maple’ will be joined by John Norman Jr, who is enjoying his debut year on the PDC circuit after earning a tour card at Q-School back in January.
The veteran duo of Darin Young and Larry Butler will once again form a dangerous American partnership, whilst emerging talent Cody Harris will represent New Zealand for the second successive year, alongside the experienced Rob Szabo who has twice appeared at the PDC World Championship.
Cristo Reyes and Antonio Alcinas will be competing for 2010 semi-finalists Spain, whilst Mick McGowan and William O’Connor will carry the Republic of Ireland’s hopes for the second year in succession. Meanwhile, Polish star Krzysztof Ratajski, who has enjoyed a strong start to the year on the European Tour, will be partnered by Tytus Kanik.
Devon Petersen will once again lead the South African charge in Frankfurt, alongside Deon Oliver, who won a knockout event in Cape Town earlier this year for the right to partner ‘The Spartan’. Elsewhere, Haruki Muramatsu will lead Japan’s assault, alongside World Cup debutant Yuki Yamada.
Swedish veteran Magnus Caris will make his seventh straight World Cup appearance alongside promising talent Daniel Larsson, who whitewashed Justin Pipe on the European Tour earlier this year. Per Laursen and Alex Jensen will team up for Denmark, whilst Finland will be represented by Kim Viljanen and Marko Kantele.
Boris Koltsov and Aleksandr Oreshkin will team up for Russia for the second straight year, whilst Greek stars John Michael and Ioannis Selachoglou will also return together. In addition, Dyson Parody and Dylan Duo will spearhead the Gibraltar team for the fifth time in World Cup history.
Kai Fan Leung comes in to partner Royden Lam for Hong Kong, with both Singapore and Thailand retaining their pairings from last year’s event. However, China will be represented by Weihong Li and Yuanjun Liu, who earnt their respective spots in a qualifying event hosted in their homeland.
Hungarian number one Janos Vegso will be partnered by Zoltan Mester, as Daniele Petri is joined on the Italian team by newcomer Gabriel Rollo. Meanwhile, Czech Republic enter this year’s event with a brand new partnership in the shape of Frantisek Humpula and Karel Sedlacek.
The draw for this year’s competition will be made on Tuesday and announced in due course, with the top eight nations seeded for the first-round of the four-day event. The full list of teams and competitors can be viewed below.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Betway World Cup of Darts
1 Scotland – Gary Anderson & Peter Wright
2 England – Adrian Lewis & Dave Chisnall
3 Netherlands – Michael van Gerwen & Raymond van Barneveld
4 Wales – Gerwyn Price & Mark Webster
5 Australia – Simon Whitlock & Kyle Anderson
6 Northern Ireland – Daryl Gurney & Brendan Dolan
7 Austria – Mensur Suljovic & Rowby-John Rodriguez
8 Belgium – Kim Huybrechts & Ronny Huybrechts
Brazil – Diogo Portela & Alexandre Sattin
Canada – John Norman Jnr & John Part
China – Weihong Li & Yuanjun Liu
Czech Republic – Frantisek Humpula & Karel Sedlacek
Denmark – Per Laursen & Alex Jensen
Finland – Kim Viljanen & Marko Kantele
Germany – Max Hopp & Martin Schindler
Gibraltar – Dyson Parody & Dylan Duo
Greece – John Michael & Ioannis Selachoglou
Hong Kong – Kai Fan Leung & Royden Lam
Hungary – Janos Vegso & Zoltan Mester
Italy – Daniele Petri & Gabriel Rollo
Japan – Haruki Muramatsu & Yuki Yamada
New Zealand – Cody Harris & Rob Szabo
Poland – Krzysztof Ratajski & Tytus Kanik
Republic of Ireland – Mick McGowan & William O’Connor
Russia – Boris Koltsov & Aleksandr Oreshkin
Singapore – Paul Lim & Harith Lim
South Africa – Devon Petersen & Deon Oliver
Spain – Cristo Reyes & Antonio Alcinas
Sweden – Magnus Caris & Daniel Larsson
Switzerland – Thomas Junghans & Philipp Ruckstuhl
Thailand – Thanawat Gaweenuntawong & Attapol Eupakaree
United States of America – Darin Young & Larry Butler