Gerwyn Price and Jonny Clayton are leading the Welsh charge

Premier League Darts 2023: Cardiff leg throws spotlight on Welsh domination

Darts returns to Cardiff for its annual visit with two home favourites aiming for victory

PROFESSIONAL darts returns to Cardiff this week, bringing with it two Welsh stars who have dominated the sport over the last two years.

The Premier League is darts’ weekly tournament, contested every Thursday night by eight of the best players in the world. Competing over 17 weeks at venues around Europe, the players earn points to qualify for the final night in London.

Cardiff is hosting the second night of the league on Thursday, February 9 and two Welsh stars in particular will hope to come away from their home event with maximum points.

Gerwyn Price and Jonny Clayton have, between them, won nearly every major tournament available since the sport returned from a Covid-forced break in 2020.

Price, from Markham, started his career as a rugby player. He played for teams including Neath and Crosskeys before ending his rugby career in 2014 to focus on darts. He joined the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) the same year.

Clayton, from Llanelli, was a member of the British Darts Organisation (BDO) from 2008 to 2015, turning professional with the PDC in 2015.

The Premier League 2023

Clayton and Price will compete at the Cardiff International Arena with six other darts superstars.

The format of the Premier League changed in 2022 to make the nights more exciting than a handful of matches without an end product. The eight will compete from opening quarter final matches through to a final, where the winner of the night earns five points for the league. The runner-up receives three points, and semi-finalists receive two. Each game is best of 11 legs.

On the opening night in Belfast Jonny Clayton lost to Belgian Dimitri Van den Bergh 6-2 in the quarter final. Gerwyn Price lost 6-4 to Nathan Aspinall at the same stage.

Englishman Chris Dobey won the night on his Premier League debut.

In Cardiff, Clayton will face off against World Champion Michael Smith, with Price clashing with Chris Dobey. The draw means that there is potential for an all-Welsh final.

Elsewhere, Nathan Aspinall faces 2022 World Champion Peter Wright, and Dimitri Van den Bergh plays six-time Premier League champion Michael van Gerwen.

The history of Wales in the Premier League

The Premier League has been running since 2005 and Cardiff has been a mainstay on the calendar since 2007.

It was not until 2011 that the first Welshman, Mark Webster, competed in the tournament. He finished bottom of the league.

In 2018, Gerwyn Price became the first Welshman to win a televised darts major and he made his Premier League debut in the same year.

Jonny Clayton joined Price in The Premier League in 2021 and the two have been selected the past three seasons.

Wales have had players in seven of the 19 Premier League tournaments that have been held.

Despite recent Welsh success in the sport, there remains only one professional darts event in Wales each year – the Premier League in Cardiff – but could continued success change that?