James Wade given The Mop nickname as England progress at World Cup of Darts

James Wade has been known as The Machine for the majority of his professional darts career, but that could be about to change if England teammate Michael Smith gets his way.

The duo are playing together at the World Cup of Darts in Germany and made an impressive start to the tournament with a 5-1 win over the Czech Republic on Friday night. It was clear the pair enjoyed playing together and, with Smith’s heavy scoring combined with Wade’s finishing ability, they look to be the perfect match. With that in mind, Smith has given Wade a new nickname, which isn’t quite as intimidating as The Machine.

“I’ve got The Mop alongside me, he just cleans up everything I do,” said Smith after the match. “It was an amazing feeling. It’s unbelievable being with him, it’s unreal.”

Unusually for him, Wade was very animated on stage and celebrated wildly with Smith after the match-clinching dart.

“I was buzzing up there, [it’s] like no singles tournament I’ve experienced before,” he said. “We were bouncing off each other. I was electric. I’m not saying I played electric but I was buzzing so much up there, it was amazing.”

On Smith, Wade added: “Look at him, it’s bundles of 180s, bundles of trebles. If you can’t buzz of that, you can’t buzz at all.”

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England return to the stage tonight (Saturday) when they take on Latvia in the second round. The first lot of second round ties took place this afternoon, with Northern Ireland and the Netherlands defeating New Zealand and the Republic of Ireland respectively, both 2-0.

Meanwhile, the Wales team of Gerwyn Price and Jonny Clayton were pushed all the way by last year’s finalists, Austria. Price beat Mensur Suljovic in the first singles match but Rowby-John Rodriguez’s victory over Clayton took the tie to a deciding doubles contest. Wales missed five match darts before finally winning 4-2 to reach Sunday afternoon’s quarter-finals.

Next, they will face host national Germany, who were too strong for Denmark in the second round, winning 2-0.

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