It is fair to say that Gerwyn Price is an unusual professional darts player.

Most top professionals enter the sport after plying a trade. But Price gave up a career in rugby to take to the oche. The move has turned out to be a smart one. Now firmly entrenched in the world’s top 16, the Welshman will look to earn his first Premier League Darts win against Daryl Gurney on Thursday.

After a fairly promising rugby career, he opted to hang up his boots to give darts a try full-time.

“I always wanted to play rugby for Wales as a youngster.

“I did alright, I played for the age-grade sides up to Under-21s then I went off the rails a bit,” said the Iceman.

Being paid to play rugby meant Price could venture into darts more. It ended up causing his unlikely switch.

Price explained: “I was probably playing only 10 games a season. It meant I didn’t need a sponsor in darts then and I was earning decent money, I was covering my own so I thought with injuries and everything else, I just chose to stick with darts.

“I couldn’t balance both because if I got injured playing rugby I wouldn’t be able to throw a dart.”

One of the most recognisable parts of Price’s game is his emphatic celebrations. The Mendham man insists they are not for show.

“Some players think I do it to put them off and to get under their skin, and don’t get me wrong, it does get under their skin. But I don’t do it for that,” the 2017 UK Open finalist said.

“If I haven’t got that aggression in my game I don’t play as well.

“I know a lot of people don’t like it, but some of the crowd seem to like it, the PDC like it and Sky seem to like it and I suppose part of my game has got me in the Premier League as well. But I’m not doing it for things like that, I do it to make me play better.”

Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

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Author: Edward McCosh