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Netherlands begin World Cup of Darts defence against Spain

Top seeds England face a tricky tie against the Philippines.

Image: Van Gerwen will be hoping to lift his fourth World Cup title in June

Netherlands will begin the defence of their World Cup of Darts title against former semi-finalists Spain in Hamburg next month.

The Dutch won a fourth World Cup of Darts title with victory over Scotland 12 months ago, as Michael van Gerwen and Raymond van Barneveld teamed up to defeat Gary Anderson and Peter Wright.


However, Van Gerwen will be partnered in 2019 by debutant Jermaine Wattimena, who qualified by leapfrogging Van Barneveld in the PDC Order of Merit.

They will take on 2010 semi-finalists Spain in the first round at the Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg, with this year's event being held from June 6-9.

Rob Cross and Michael Smith form a new-look partnership for four-time winners England and the top seeds face the Philippines, who are represented by recent World Championship participants Lourence Ilagan and Noel Malicdem.

Second seeds Scotland take on Denmark, while third seeds Wales have been pitted against 2017 quarter-finalists Singapore, who are led by the veteran Paul Lim.

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2012 finalists Australia face the experienced Finland pairing of Marko Kantele and Kim Viljanen, while sixth seeds Northern Ireland have been drawn against two-time quarter-finalists South Africa.

Image: Cross and Smith will form a new-look England team in Hamburg

The Belgian duo of Kim Huybrechts and Dimitri Van den Bergh - semi-finalists 12 months ago, meet Hong Kong in their opener while eighth seeds Austria, led by Mensur Suljovic, play Russia.

Host nation Germany will be represented by Max Hopp and Martin Schindler for the third straight year and the young duo - who have reached back-to-back World Cup quarter-finals, begin their campaign against Hungary.

Republic of Ireland's team is made up of recent Players Championship winner William O'Connor and Premier League contender Steve Lennon and they lock horns with Greece in round one.

Krzysztof Ratajski will head up a Polish side against the Czech Republic, Diogo Portela's Brazil will meet Sweden and Canada, without three-time world champion John Part for the first time, take on Italy.

World Cup ever-present Darin Young partners Chuck Puleo for the USA and the Americans face China in their opener. Elsewhere, Gibraltar play Japan and debutants Lithuania, led by Darius Labanauskas, come up against New Zealand.

2019 World Cup of Darts Draw Bracket
(1) England v Philippines
Republic of Ireland v Greece
(8) Austria v Russia
China v USA
(5) Australia v Finland
Italy v Canada
(4) Netherlands v Spain
Poland v Czech Republic
(2) Scotland v Denmark
Brazil v Sweden
(7) Belgium v Hong Kong
Hungary v Germany
(6) Northern Ireland v South Africa
New Zealand v Lithuania
(3) Wales v Singapore
Gibraltar v Japan

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