World Cup of Darts competitors confirmed
FIVE new countries will compete in the 2012 World Cup of Darts in Hamburg next month - including South Africa, the Philippines and Malaysia.
The second PDC World Cup will be staged from February 3-5 at the Alsterdorfer Sporthalle in Hamburg, featuring 24 countries competing for a £150,000 prize fund.
The Netherlands, who won the tournament in December 2010, will be the number three seeds as Raymond van Barneveld and Vincent van der Voort defend the title in Hamburg.
The English pair of world number one Phil Taylor and World Champion Adrian Lewis will be the top seed, with Australian duo Simon Whitlock and Paul Nicholson the number two seeds.
Scotland's Gary Anderson and Peter Wright are seeded four, Welsh pair Mark Webster and Richie Burnett are five, Northern Ireland's Brendan Dolan & Michael Mansell are six, Belgium's Kim Huybrechts and Kurt Van De Rijck are seven and the German pair of Jyhan Artut and Bernd Roith are the eighth seed on home soil.
The top eight seeds will enter the tournament at the second round stage, with the teams ranked 9-24 contesting the first round in the opening session on Friday February 3.
Canada, featuring three-time World Champion John Part and Ken MacNeil, are the ninth seeds, with Ireland, the USA, Austria, Sweden, Spain, Finland, Gibraltar, Denmark and debutants Croatia the next in line, with all having at least two ranked players on the PDC Order of Merit.
The Spanish pair of Antonio Alcinas and Carlos Rodriguez famously won through to the semi-finals of the last World Cup, knocking out England's Phil Taylor & James Wade along the way.
William O'Connor and Mick McGowan represent Ireland, Darin Young is partnered by Gary Mawson for the USA, World Championship qualifiers Mensur Suljovic and Dietmar Burger team up for Austria and Magnus Caris will play alongside Dennis Nilsson for Sweden.
Finland's Petri Korte, who met Wade in the World Championship, partners Marko Kantele in the event, while Dylan Duo and Dyson Parody represent Gibraltar, Per Laursen and Jann Hoffmann will play for Denmark and Boris Krcmar plays for Croatia alongside Tonci Restovic.
The remaining six countries have been invited by virtue of having one ranked player on the PDC Order of Merit, with Japan and New Zealand joined by South Africa, the Philippines, Malaysia and Hungary - giving many recent World Darts Championship qualifiers further top-level experience.
Japan's Haruki Muramatsu - who won through to play Phil Taylor in the World Championship - is partnered by popular ace Morihiro Hashimoto, who had taken on Gary Anderson at Alexandra Palace 12 months earlier.
New Zealander Warren French is joined by Preston Ridd, while South Africa's Devon Petersen will be partnered by Shawn Hogan as he looks to build on his second round appearance in the World Championship.
Former World Championship qualifier Lourence Ilagan partners Christian Perez for the Philippines, while Malaysia recent Alexandra Palace qualifier Lee Choon Peng is joined by Amin Bin Abdul Ghani and Hungary's Nandor Bezzeg will play with Kristian Kaufmann, who has experience on the PDC ProTour in Europe.
The teams are ranked based on the cumulative totals of the competing players on the PDC Order of Merit, with the first round draw seeing the teams drawn 9v24, 10v23, 11v22, 12v21, 13v20, 14v19, 15v18 and 16v17.
This means that Canada meet Hungary, Ireland play Malaysia, USA face the Philippines, Austria take on New Zealand, Sweden clash with Japan, Spain challenge South Africa, Finland battle Croatia and Gibraltar come up against Denmark.
Tickets for the tournament are already proving highly popular and can be purchased through www.pdc-europe.net. Tickets range from €8.90-€24.90 per session, with combination tickets available for both daily sessions and/or all sessions throughout the event.
PDC World Cup of Darts Teams
1 - England (Phil Taylor & Adrian Lewis)
2 - Australia (Simon Whitlock & Paul Nicholson)
3 - Netherlands (Raymond van Barneveld & Vincent van der Voort)
4 - Scotland (Gary Anderson & Peter Wright)
5 - Wales (Mark Webster & Richie Burnett)
6 - Northern Ireland (Brendan Dolan & Michael Mansell)
7 - Belgium (Kim Huybrechts & Kurt Van De Rijck)
8 - Germany (Jyhan Artut & Bernd Roith)
9 - Canada (John Part & Ken MacNeil)
10 - Republic of Ireland (William O'Connor & Mick McGowan)
11 - USA (Darin Young & Gary Mawson)
12 - Austria (Mensur Suljovic & Dietmar Burger)
13 - Sweden (Magnus Caris & Dennis Nilsson)
14 - Spain (Antonio Alcinas & Carlos Rodriguez)
15 - Finland (Petri Korte & Marko Kantele)
16 - Gibraltar (Dylan Duo & Dyson Parody)
17 - Denmark (Per Laursen & Jann Hoffmann)
18 - Croatia (Boris Krcmar & Tonci Restovic)
19 - South African (Devon Petersen & Shawn Hogan)
20 - Japan (Haruki Muramatsu & Morihiro Hashimoto)
21 - New Zealand (Warren French & Preston Ridd)
22 - Philippines (Christian Perez & Lourence Ilagan)
23 - Malaysia (Lee Choon Peng & Amin Bin Abdul Ghani)
24 - Hungary (Nandor Bezzeg & Kristian Kaufmann)
PDC World Cup of Darts
First Round Draw
Canada v Hungary
Republic of Ireland v Malaysia
USA v Philippines
Austria v New Zealand
Sweden v Japan
Spain v South Africa
Finland v Croatia
Gibraltar v Denmark
Second Round Draw Bracket
England (1) v
Germany (8) v
Wales (5) v
Scotland (4) v
Australia (2) v
Belgium (7) v
Northern Ireland (6) v
Netherlands (3) v
Schedule of Play
Friday February 3
Afternoon Session (2pm-6pm)
First Round x8 Games
Evening Session (8pm-12am)
Second Round x4 Games
Saturday February 4
Afternoon Session (2.30pm-6.30pm)
Second Round x4 Games
Evening Session (8pm-12am)
Sunday February 5
Afternoon Session (3pm-6.30pm)
Evening Session (8pm-11.30pm)