The Republic of Ireland team of Willie O'Connor and Keane Barry has been drawn alongside Croatia and Thailand in the World Cup of Darts.

Northern Ireland, represented by Daryl Gurney and Brendan Dolan, face France and Ukraine.

A new format for the tournament sees 36 countries form 12 groups of three, with the winner progressing to round two where they will be joined by the top four seeds, England, Netherlands, Wales and Scotland.

In another new departure, all games will be in doubles format as opposed to a mixture of singles and doubles.

The tournament takes place in the Eissporthalle, Frankfurt, Germany from 15-18 June.

Limerick's O'Connor was part of the Ireland team, alongside Steve Lennon, that reached the final in 2019, while Barry, from Meath is making his World Cup debut.

"To represent your country at any level and especially in the PDC is a great honour," 20-year-old Barry told RTÉ Sport.

"I'm just delighted. It was always one thing I've wanted to do. Even going back years ago watching Mick McGowan play.

"I think we stand a good chance, me and Willie click together well and it will be interesting to see how this week goes and I'm really looking forward to it.

"Especially with it being doubles, it means the bigger teams won't be at such an advantage.

"In singles they have more of an advantage. Some players don't like doubles, some players won't click with their partners. It's going to be a very interesting tournament to see how everything pans out."

Reigning champions Australia - represented by Damon Heta and Simon Whitlock – have been pitted against debutants Guyana in their opening Group C tie, before they take on Gibraltar on Friday.

World champion Michael Smith and Rob Cross will star for top seeds England, with three-time World Cup winner Michael van Gerwen and Danny Noppert flying the flag for Netherlands.

Gerwyn Price and Jonny Clayton will bid to repeat their 2020 exploits as they represent Wales for a sixth straight year, while Gary Anderson returns to partner Peter Wright for fourth seeds Scotland.

Thailand are represented by Attapol Eupakaree and Yong Gaweenuntavong, while Boris Krcmar and Romeo Grbavac make up the Croatia team, who are Ireland's opponents in Group E.

In Group D, Dolan and Gurney will take on Thibault Tricole and Jacques Labre from France and Vladyslav Omelchenko and Illia Pekaruk of Ukraine.