Darts: Raymond van Barneveld returns for NZ Masters swansong

Raymond van Barneveld in action
Raymond van Barneveld in action at the NZ Darts Masters. Photo credit: Photosport

Dutch legend Raymond van Barneveld will return to New Zealand for one last time, after confirming for the Professional Darts Corporation's (PDC) NZ Darts Masters in August.

On Thursday, the five-time world champion, who will retire at the end of the 2019 season, was confirmed, alongside James Wade, for the two-day event at Claudelands Arena in Hamilton on August 23/24.

The duo join the previously announced Michael van Gerwen, Rob Cross, Gary Anderson, Daryl Gurney, Peter Wright and Simon Whitlock as the eight PDC representatives. 

Since the NZ Darts Masters began in 2015, van Barneveld has competed every year, reaching the final in 2015 and 2018, but hasn't won. 

This will be Wade's fourth appearance in New Zealand, after reaching the semi-finals in 2016-17. 

The eight PDC players, alongside 2017 champion Kyle Anderson and Corey Cadby, will also compete in the Brisbane and Melbourne Darts Masters on August 9/10 and August 16/17 respectively. 

Three New Zealand players have been confirmed, with two more to be announced at the Darts Players NZ (DPNZ) qualifiers, scheduled for June 29/30 at the Hornby Working Men's Club in Christchurch.

UK-based Cody Harris earned a wildcard for his home event, while Haupai Puha and Craig Caldwell qualified by finishing first and second respectively on the DPNZ circuit. 

Harris has competed in every NZ Darts Masters, while Puha, who reached the World Cup quarter-finals for New Zealand alongside Harris last weekend, will compete in his second with, Caldwell to make his first apperance since 2015. 

One more Australian qualifier will be announced in July.

PDC representatives: Michael van Gerwen, Rob Cross, Gary Anderson, Daryl Gurney, Peter Wright, James Wade, Simon Whitlock, Raymond van Barneveld

Oceanic representatives: Kyle Anderson, Corey Cadby, Cody Harris, Haupai Puha (DPNZ number one), Craig Caldwell (DPNZ number two), DPNZ qualifiers x2 (June 29/30, Christchurch), Australian qualifier (July 7, Warilla)

Newshub. 

Contact Newshub with your story tips:
news@newshub.co.nz