GERWYN Price aims to be as dominant as Phil Taylor after warning his rivals that there is plenty more to come ahead of his World Darts Championship title defence.

The 36-year-old from Markham gets his tournament under way against either Ritchie Edhouse or Peter Hudson tomorrow evening.

The world number one will look to avoid a huge upset before returning to Alexandra Palace after Christmas with the intention of a second title on the spin.

Price had to miss the Premier League because of coronavirus but remains the top dog thanks to a remarkable rise in the sport.

The former rugby player only won his PDC tour card in 2014 and claimed his maiden titles in 2016 by winning back-to-back Players Championship events to move into the world's top 32.

Price, who hopes to match Taylor, Adrian Lewis and Gary Anderson by defending the world title, insists he has plenty more to learn on the circuit.

"If you think I'm the finished article, I'm nowhere near the finished article," he said.

"I've only been playing darts for nine years, in the PDC for seven years. There's a hell of a lot more to come from me. I've a lot more in the tank.

"I will become a lot more consistent. I will become a lot more dominant over the next couple of years, I believe, because I'm nowhere near where I want to be in terms of being consistent at the game.

"Give me another two or three years, I think I'll be a lot more dominant than what I am now - even though I'm a world champ and a world number one.

"But in another two or three years' time, I'll be a lot more confident, a lot more consistent. I think I can dominate a bit more then, in the coming years."

 

LEGEND: Darts icon Phil Taylor

LEGEND: Darts icon Phil Taylor

 

Michael van Gerwen enjoyed a period of darts dominance but Price is inspired by the legendary Taylor.

"Michael was dominant, but he wasn't winning every single event," he said to Sky Sports, who are televising the World Championship.

"Don't get me wrong, he has won every event but he wasn't dominant in every event, every year like Phil was. I'll probably look to get more towards a Phil Taylor-type dominance."

Price has been backed to shine again by Sky Sports expert Wayne Mardle, with the former five-time world semi-finalist impressed by the Gwent ace's victory in November's Grand Slam of Darts.

"Gerwyn Price is going to be so difficult to dethrone. It would not surprise me at all if he won it," he said.

"The way in which he won the Grand Slam, he was just the best player when it mattered.

"Come finals day, he has got this fitness level, this belief, the ability. Like Michael van Gerwen, like the very best players in the world, 'I only worry about my game.' That is all he says.

"He knows he can do it. He's done it, he's the world No 1, he is the reigning world champ."

Edhouse and Hudson meet in round one this evening before the winner goes up against Price in the final match of the session.

Cwmbran's Nick Kenny faces Rowby-John Rodriguez in round one on Saturday for the right to take on Luke Humphries next Wednesday.

Round three gets under way on December 27 with the final on Monday, January 3.

There's a record five Welshmen taking part, including in-form Jonny Clayton.