The England World Cup of Darts team is about to experience another change.

Phil Taylor has partnered three different players in the past. The Power represented England alongside James Wade, Adrian Lewis and Dave Chisnall. Now the 16-time world champion has retired, his final opponent will replace him. Rob Cross, the current world number three, will make his World Cup of Darts debut. Currently, he is set to be joined by Chisnall. But Michael Smith is just two places behind Chizzy in the Order of Merit. With Smith in better form, there may be another change to the England line-up.

Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld will return to defend their crown. The Dutch duo have been World Cup partners since 2013. Peter Wright and Gary Anderson, the world numbers two and four, will form the top seeded team. They famously lost in the first round last year, against unfancied opponents Singapore. Daryl Gurney and Brendan Dolan will reprise their partnership for Northern Ireland. Simon Whitlock will once again be partnered by Kyle Anderson for Australia. That is unless Corey Cadby somehow intervenes.

Gerwyn Price and Jonny Clayton are the likely Welsh pair. Mark Webster faces missing out on the World Cup for the first time ever. Austria and Belgium’s teams could yet change, though Mensur Suljovic and Kim Huybrechts are certs. Zoran Lerchbacher will pip Rowby-John Rodriguez to the second Austrian spot as it stands. Huybrechts will partner Dimitri van den Bergh, not brother Ronny, if things stay the same. The cut-off points is 14 May, so the pairings could well change in the next three months.

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Author: Edward McCosh