Gerwyn Price revelling in fans favourite status as Wales target World Cup glory

Gerwyn Price received a big boost on and off the oche as Wales made a winning start to their World Cup of Darts campaign.

Price, in tandem with Jonny Clayton, claimed Wales’ maiden World Cup crown in 2020, and they reaffirmed their title credentials with a dominant display against Philippines duo Lourence Ilagan and RJ Escaros. The second seeds produced the performance of the night at the Eissporthalle in Frankfurt, averaging just over 99 in a 5-2 victory to set up an intriguing last 16 showdown against 2021 finalists Austria.

While Clayton has impressed so far this year, topping the Premier League table, it has been a tough season for Price, who has struggled for form and fitness. But the end of the Premier League, which he finished second-bottom of, has given The Iceman a chance to recharge the batteries and he looked refreshed playing alongside his great mate Clayton.

“I’ve been doubting myself recently, so today was a big confidence boost,” Price told Online Darts TV. Price is often subjected to booing when competing in the UK, but not in Frankfurt, where the predominantly German crowd were even chanting his name.

“Over the last couple of months, especially in Germany, I’ve had a good reception. It certainly helps, rather than the booing,” he added.

Wales are one of the favourites for the title and both players are confident they can go all the way and snatch the crown away the Scotland team of Peter Wright and John Henderson, who begin their campaign against Hong Kong tonight (Friday).

“We have a great bond,” said Clayton. “As long as we play our game, I think we’ve got a fantastic chance of getting our title back.”

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Price believes the fact the pair get on so well could be an important factor as the tournament heads into the weekend.

“I’ve seen players practising on different boards. They haven’t got that connection. It just comes naturally [to us]. We get on really well, whether we’re playing singles, doubles, whatever,” said the 2021 world champion.

“We probably play better as a team than we do individually because it probably means a bit more, not just for us but for our families and people back in Wales as well. I think we’ve probably got the best team here so there’s a lot of pressure on us but I think we can win it and get it back. Let’s sneak it back off Scotland!”

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