Snooker’s Ronnie faces outsider at Sheffield Crucible

Ronnie O'Sullivan
Ronnie O'Sullivan

Snooker legend Ronnie O’Sullivan will start the defence of his Dafabet World Championship title in Sheffield against outsider Robin Hull - world number 122.

A random draw for the final stages of snooker’s biggest tournament saw O’Sullivan matched against Hull, from Finland, in the opening round tie at the Crucible theatre.

The match starts at 10am on Saturday (April 19) and is due to conclude by 7pm.

O’Sullivan is bidding for a third consecutive world title and sixth in all.

Hull, whose only previous appearance at the Crucible was in 2002, retired from pro snooker in 2008 after a series of health problems, but later made a comeback and won four matches in the qualifying rounds to earn his spot in the televised stages.

World number one Neil Robertson faces Robbie Williams, one of four Crucible debutants alongside Kyren Wilson, Michael Wasley and Xiao Guodong.

Wasley will be up against Chinese ace Ding Junhui, who has already won a record-equalling five ranking titles this season, while Judd Trump meets Tom Ford. Friends and practice partners John Higgins and Alan McManus go head to head, while world number two Mark Selby meets Michael White.

The Dafabet World Championship is supported by Sheffield City Council.

For the full draw and format see www.worldsnooker.com.

The tournament runs from April 19 to May 5 at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.

Tickets for many sessions have already sold out but for the latest availability call 0844 65 65 147 or visit sheffieldtheatres.co.uk.