Snooker World Cup: Michael White thrilled to play with Williams

By Gareth BlaineyBBC Wales Sport
Michael White is ranked 17th in the world
Michael White is ranked 17th in the world

Welsh snooker player Michael White says he is excited about playing alongside Mark Williams in the World Cup which starts in Wuxi, China on Monday.

Neath player White, 23, and two-time world champion Williams make up Wales' two-man team for the event.

Williams, ranked 14th in the world, won the Crucible title in 2000 and 2003.

"It's like a dream really... It does mean a lot to me to go out to China and represent Wales with a legend like Mark," he said.

"I first started playing around 1998 or 1999, then I remember the World Championship final in 2000.

"Mark is a great player and watching him winning the title against Matthew Stevens was a massive inspiration for me, with both of them from Wales."

Williams, 40, and Matthew Stevens reached the semi-finals the last time the World Cup for teams was staged in 2011, before losing to eventual winners China.

Snooker World Cup Group C
Northern Ireland

This year Wales are seeded sixth of the 24 teams, which compete in four groups of six with the top two advancing to the quarter-finals.

Wales will be in a group with third seeds Australia, plus Northern Ireland, Poland, Qatar and their first opponents on Monday, Pakistan.

White says he and Williams are confident of doing well.

"I've got to say I'd be very disappointed if we didn't at least get through the group and reach the quarter-finals," he said.

"Both of us are strong players and Mark's got that experience of playing in the [World] Cup before.

"We'll be a good team. Let's hope we can perform and do Wales proud".