Tough start as debutants break off

Mark Selby, left, and Ronnie O'Sullivan
Mark Selby, left, and Ronnie O'Sullivan
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RONNIE O’SULLIVAN and champion Mark Selby will tackle Crucible debutants in the first round of the World Championship.

Five-time winner O’Sullivan will face Manchester cueman Craig Steadman, who at the age of 32 is set for his bow at snooker’s most prestigious tournament.

Selby will tackle Norway’s Kurt Maflin, who came through 10-9 in the final qualifying round against Irish veteran Fergal O’Brien on Wednesday night. Their match will take place over Saturday morning and evening sessions, as the tournament gets under way.

Judd Trump faces another tournament newcomer, as he goes head to head with Grimsby’s Stuart Carrington, a player he faced frequently in the junior ranks.

The fourth Crucible novice this year is Scotland’s Anthony McGill, who goes head to head with fellow Glaswegian Stephen Maguire in round one.

Draw for the first round:

Mark Selby v Kurt Maflin

Stephen Maguire v Anthony McGill

Joe Perry v Zhang Anda

Shaun Murphy v Robin Hull

Barry Hawkins v Matthew Selt

Mark Allen v Ryan Day

Ali Carter v Alan McManus

Neil Robertson v Jamie Jones

Ding Junhui v Mark Davis

John Higgins v Robert Milkins

Marco Fu v Jimmy Robertson

Judd Trump v Stuart Carrington

Ricky Walden v Graeme Dott

Stuart Bingham v Robbie Williams

Mark Williams v Matthew Stevens

Ronnie O’Sullivan v Craig Steadman

The tournament runs from April 18 to May 4.