Gerwyn Price has hailed his Cazoo World Cup of Darts partner Jonny Clayton, as the Welsh pair continue their title tilt against Austria in Frankfurt on Saturday afternoon.
Price and Clayton, who triumphed in the 2020 event, take on last year’s runners-up Mensur Suljovic and Rowby-John Rodriguez in a blockbuster last 16 showdown at the Eissporthalle.
The second seeds produced the performance of the opening round in a 5-2 victory over the Philippines, averaging over 99 and converting two ton-plus finishes.
Price set the tone with a maximum in his opening visit, and checkouts of 106 and 108 capped off an impressive performance by the world number two.
“It was really important for me because I haven’t been playing particularly well over the last couple of months,” Price admitted.
“I have been doubting myself, but Thursday was a big confidence boost for me, and hopefully for us as a team also.
“I think it takes a lot of pressure off me knowing that I’ve got Jonny behind me backing me up.
“I believe Jonny is the best player in the world at the minute, so if I’m missing, there is no better partner to have.”
Four-time winners England and Netherlands boast new look-pairings at this year’s showpiece, but Price and Clayton are making their fifth consecutive as a partnership.
The Premier League duo are used to locking horns on the biggest stages, but they are revelling in the opportunity to once again join forces and represent their country.
“We’ve got a great bond,” added Clayton. “We are both ex-rugby players and having that togetherness in a team sport is massive.
“As long as we play our game, I think we’ve got a good chance of reclaiming that title, and hopefully it’s going to be our year.”
“It’s a team game,” said Price, who is bidding to reach a third World Cup final this weekend.
“You win together, you lose together. I think that’s why we do so well. We’re good as individuals, but I think we’re better as a team.”
The World Cup of Darts harbours special memories for both Welshmen, but for Clayton it is particularly poignant, as it marked his first televised triumph in the PDC.
The 47-year-old has enjoyed a meteoric rise since their 2020 success, lifting four TV titles in 2021, which included debut glory in the Premier League and a World Grand Prix win.
“I am proud to be part of this team and I will give it everything I’ve got,” the world number eight continued.
“We want to play for our country, for the fans and we want to perform well. If we do that, I think we’ve got a fantastic chance.
“Gerwyn gives me so much confidence. I’ve got the best partner in the world. He says that I’m the best player in the world, but I am nowhere near this guy.”
Price and Clayton are the current favourites to lift the title this weekend, and 2021 World Champion Price is buoyed by the prospect of prevailing in front of a capacity crowd at the Eissporthalle.
The Welsh duo received a rapturous reception in their opener on Thursday, and having clinched the 2020 title behind closed doors in Austria, Price is hoping to repay the German fans for their support.
“It would be nice to win it with a crowd. Obviously two years ago we won it without a crowd, and the fans in Frankfurt were absolutely brilliant for both of us.
“To pick up that trophy with a crowd and people celebrating, it would mean that little bit more.
“It was brilliant winning it last time, but it’s like the World Championship, I want to win that again with a crowd.
“These are the special moments where people are there to celebrate with you.”
2022 Cazoo World Cup of Darts
Saturday June 18
Afternoon Session (1300 local time)
Second Round x4
Northern Ireland v New Zealand
Netherlands v Republic of Ireland
Wales v Austria
Germany v Denmark
Evening Session (1900 local time)
Australia v Sweden
Belgium v Poland
England v Latvia
Scotland v Portugal