Gerwyn Price ruled out of Premier League after positive coronavirus test; James Wade to replace world champ
After a positive Covid-19 test, world champion Gerwyn Price has been ruled out of the 2021 Premier League. Watch full coverage of every night of the Premier League on Sky Sports.
By Brian Barry
Last Updated: 05/04/21 4:18pm
World champion Gerwyn Price has been ruled out of the Unibet Premier League after testing positive for Covid-19 and will be replaced in the field by James Wade.
All players and officials involved in the tournament were tested upon arrival at Milton Keynes' Marshall Arena on Sunday ahead of the 17-night tournament.
'The Iceman' returned a positive result, and as such will now return home to Markham to enter a period of self-isolation in line with government guidelines, the PDC announced.
UK Open champion Wade replaces Price in the field, as the Machine is the highest-ranked player in the PDC Order of Merit not to have been included in the 10-strong line-up.
Wade was in Milton Keynes on stand-by and will slot in directly for the Welshman.
All other players and officials tested on Sunday returned negative test results.
Winner of the tournament in 2009, Wade will now take on Gary Anderson in Easter Monday's opening fixtures, before playing Rob Cross on Tuesday.
The action gets underway on Monday evening from 7pm on Sky Sports Action.
Wade: 'I know I'm good enough to win it'
Despite the late call-up, the world No 4 feels he has what it takes to succeed in the competition.
"I know what I'm capable of. I haven't touched a dart since the last time I played. But I'm not a prolific practice person. So hopefully that won't make much of a difference. And after a game or two, I should be back into the swing of things," Wade told the PDC.
"But I know I'm good enough to win it. So do the other nine people unfortunately. I'll have a good go, I'm pretty sure."
Wade is appearing in the Premier League for an 11th season. Only Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld featured in more campaigns.
However, the 2021 tournament will be different with games packed close together, rather than the traditional Thursday night format. Wade sees an opportunity in the new structure.
"If you start off well, you should have a bit of momentum behind you with the games close to each other," he noted.
"If you don't start off strong, that might be the same snowball effect as well. We'll see. There's not much I haven't experienced in the world of darts, so I'm pretty sure me and everyone else will adapt to it just fine and we'll see what happens."
2021 Unibet Premier League: Revised fixtures
Night One - Monday April 5
Nathan Aspinall vs Glen Durrant
Rob Cross vs Jose de Sousa
Peter Wright vs Jonny Clayton
James Wade vs Gary Anderson
Michael van Gerwen vs Dimitri Van den Bergh
Night Two - Tuesday April 6
Gary Anderson vs Jose de Sousa
Jonny Clayton vs Glen Durrant
Dimitri Van den Bergh vs Nathan Aspinall
Michael van Gerwen vs Peter Wright
James Wade vs Rob Cross
Night Three - Wednesday April 7
Rob Cross vs Michael van Gerwen
Glen Durrant vs Dimitri Van den Bergh
Peter Wright vs Gary Anderson
Nathan Aspinall vs James Wade
Jose de Sousa vs Jonny Clayton
Night Four - Thursday April 8
Dimitri Van den Bergh vs Peter Wright
Jonny Clayton vs Rob Cross
Jose de Sousa vs Nathan Aspinall
James Wade vs Michael van Gerwen
Gary Anderson vs Glen Durrant
Night Five - Friday April 9
Gary Anderson vs Jonny Clayton
Peter Wright vs Rob Cross
Michael van Gerwen vs Nathan Aspinall
James Wade vs Glen Durrant
Dimitri Van den Bergh vs Jose de Sousa
Night Six - Monday April 19
Rob Cross vs Gary Anderson
Jose de Sousa vs James Wade
Jonny Clayton vs Dimitri Van den Bergh
Glen Durrant vs Michael van Gerwen
Nathan Aspinall vs Peter Wright
Night Seven - Tuesday April 20
Glen Durrant vs Jose de Sousa
Rob Cross vs Dimitri Van den Bergh
Nathan Aspinall vs Jonny Clayton
Peter Wright vs James Wade
Michael van Gerwen vs Gary Anderson
Night Eight - Wednesday April 21
Rob Cross vs Nathan Aspinall
Gary Anderson vs Dimitri Van den Bergh
Michael van Gerwen vs Jose de Sousa
James Wade vs Jonny Clayton
Peter Wright vs Glen Durrant
Judgement Night - Thursday April 22
Jonny Clayton vs Michael van Gerwen
Glen Durrant vs Rob Cross
Jose de Sousa vs Peter Wright
Nathan Aspinall vs Gary Anderson
Dimitri Van den Bergh vs James Wade
Don't miss an arrow thrown with Sky Sports as Premier League Darts returns with five consecutive nights of action, starting on Monday at 7pm on Sky Sports Action