ST HELENS will have a representative in the Unibet Premier League again in 2018.

Michael Smith will fly the flag for the town in the 16-week roadshow event.

Smith went out of the festive period's World Championships at the second-round stage at the hands of Rob Cross, who capped an incredible debut year as a professional by winning the final at Alexandra Palace on Monday night.

Cross headlines four new faces in the 2018 Unibet Premier League.

World Grand Prix champion Daryl Gurney, Champions League of Darts winner Mensur Suljovic and 2017 UK Open finalist Gerwyn Price will also come in to make their Premier League debuts.

Michael van Gerwen will be bidding to win his fourth Premier League title as the defending champion when the 2018 season begins at Dublin's 3Arena on Thursday, February 1.

Van Gerwen and Cross are joined as automatic selections from the world's top-four ranked players by 2017 Premier League finalist Peter Wright and two-time champion Gary Anderson.

Former champion Raymond van Barneveld joins Gurney, Suljovic and Price among the six Wildcard selections, alongside 2012 runner-up Simon Whitlock and former World Youth Champion Smith.

"It's a very fresh looking Premier League," said PDC Chairman Barry Hearn. "We've got four debutants and a truly global field.

"It's unbelievable - for Rob Cross to go into number three in the world takes away a selection problem.

"The other six were really difficult to get because we had so many contenders, and so many great players who've been in it for a number of years.

"Rob has got focus, he's got ability, he's got bottle. He's a champion, he's a winner and he's going to love the Premier League.

"He has his feet on the ground, he seems a very sensible young man and I think we've got a new superstar, another player who's going to challenge the Michael van Gerwen's, Gary Anderson's and Peter Wright's on a regular basis."

Hearn added: "Mensur is a fans' favourite, he's got a wonderful personality and he's a winner. Look at his consistency over the year - Premier League selections are not just about the World Championship, they're about results over 12 months.

"The World Championship is the most important result but it's not the only criteria. Mensur has been fantastic all season and thoroughly deserves his chance in the Premier League."

The ten players will face each other once over the first nine weeks, before the bottom two players are eliminated following Judgement Night at The SSE Arena in Belfast on Thursday, March 29.

The remaining eight players then meet for a second time in the league before the top four players progress to compete in the Play-Offs at The O2 in London on Thursday, May 17.

The Unibet Premier League will also visit Germany for the first time in 2018, with the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin playing host to the event on Thursday, March 22.

Rotterdam Ahoy will also host a sold-out league night for the third successive year, as well as traversing the UK and Ireland over a four-month period.

The 2018 Unibet Premier League season will be the first since the tournament was introduced in 2005 which will not feature six-time champion Phil Taylor, who retired following the World Championship final.

Former champion James Wade, 2011 finalist Adrian Lewis, Jelle Klaasen and Kim Huybrechts also drop out of the Premier League after competing in 2017, while Hearn also revealed that Dimitri Van den Bergh and Jamie Lewis were considered for selection following their impressive World Championship displays.

"Dimitri Van den Bergh and Jamie Lewis were on the shortlist," added Hearn. "Maybe it's a little early.

"We're going to give them another year, probably use them in a few World Series events to give them a bit more experience and look forward to them making another push with their career and knocking on the door of the Premier League next year."

Ticket information for the 2018 Unibet Premier League is available at

2018 Unibet Premier League vompetitors:

Gary Anderson

Rob Cross

Daryl Gurney

Gerwyn Price

Michael Smith

Mensur Suljovic

Raymond van Barneveld

Michael van Gerwen

Simon Whitlock

Peter Wright

2018 Unibet Premier League Dates & Venues

Night One - February 1

3Arena Dublin

Tickets via and 0818 719 300 (ROI) or 0844 847 2455 (UK & NI)

Night Two - February 8

Motorpoint Arena Cardiff

Tickets via and 029 2022 4488

Night Three - February 15

Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle

Tickets via and 0844 493 6666

Night Four - February 22

Mercedes-Benz Arena, Berlin

Tickets via PDC Europe and through Affilitix +49 361 644 189 760 and with email support via

Night Five - March 1

Westpoint Arena, Exeter

Tickets via and 08444 99 99 55

Night Six - March 8

First Direct Arena, Leeds

Tickets via and 0844 248 1585

Night Seven - March 15

Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham

Tickets via and 0843 373 3000

Night Eight - March 22

The SSE Hydro, Glasgow

Tickets via and 0844 395 4000

Night Nine - March 29

The SSE Arena, Belfast

Tickets via and 028 9073 9074

Tickets priced at £45/£39 and £25.50 including booking fee

Night Ten - April 5

Echo Arena, Liverpool

Tickets via and 0844 8000 400

Night 11 - April 12

The FlyDSA Arena, Sheffield

Tickets via and 0114 256 5656

Night 12 - April 19

Rotterdam Ahoy

Tickets via and 0900 300 1250 (Netherlands, 60 cpm) or 0031 88 123 24 25 (Outside Netherlands)

Night 13 - April 26

The Manchester Arena

Tickets via and 0844 847 8000

Night 14 - May 3

Arena Birmingham

Tickets via and 0844 33 88 222

Night 15 - May 10

The BHGE Arena, Aberdeen

Tickets via and 08444 77 9000

Play-Offs - May 17

The O2, London

Tickets via and 0844 856 0202