Ireland will have four representatives at the World Darts Championship later this month.

Daryl Gurney, winner of the World Grand Prix in Dublin last October, is the highest ranked among the quartet of Irish throwers. 

The Derry man, current world number four, will play Belgium’s Ronny Huybrechts in the first round on 18 December.

‘History Maker’ Brendan Dolan fought through the field at the PDPA qualifiers last Monday to claim a preliminary-round spot against Alan Ljubic on 13 December, with the winner to face 2015 Grand Prix champ Robert Thornton.

"To beat the PDC players I have [to qualify] is a real confidence boost, can’t wait to be back at Ally Pally," said the Fermanagh native, who has now qualified for his tenth successive Worlds.

Limerick’s Willie O’Connor qualified after his Irish Matchplay victory last October and will take on Steve Beaton in the opening match of the tournament on Thursday 14 December.

It’s the 31-year-old’s first time competing at Alexandra Palace.

Also making his debut is Carlow’s Steve Lennon.

Sixty-sixth on the PDC Order of Merit, Lennon faces Michael Smith in the first round on 20 December.

Meanwhile, Phil Taylor begins his bid for a 17th World Championship title against youngster Chris Dobey, while reigning champion Michael van Gerwen was handed an all-Dutch first round tie with Christian Kist.

SCHEDULE!

Here is the Schedule for the 2017/18 @WilliamHill World Darts Championship...

➡️ https://t.co/xwhfOaOauz#LoveTheDarts  #WHDarts pic.twitter.com/KAYnkFCL7f

However, world number two Peter Wright may miss out entirely. 

'Snakebite' was rushed to hospital on Thursday and now seems unlikely to compete in the PDC World Championship.

In a brief statement posted on Twitter, his wife Jo announced that the third-favourite for the World title is now back home but will not be taking part in exhibitions or competitions until he is well enough.

"I'm sorry 2 announce that Peter was rushed 2 hospital yesterday," Jo Wright posted from his official account.

"He is now back home but unable 2 do any exhibitions or work until he is well enough 2. We would both like 2 apologise 2 all fans who have bought tickets 2 see Snakebite in the run up to Xmas."