Warren Parry has sights on world-class Taylor
Southland's leading darts player Warren Parry is excited by the potential prospect of lining up against Phil "The Power" Taylor in his home province.
Invercargill will host one of the four legs in the new Australasian King of Darts series in January.
Three legs of the series will be held in Sydney, the Gold Coast and Tasmania, while ILT Stadium Southland in Invercargill will host New Zealand's only leg.
Taylor, who has amassed $12 million in prizemoney during his career, will headline the $110,000 Australasian series.
World No 3 Adrian Lewis, also from England, is another star player expected to compete in Invercargill.
Parry has already had chances to test himself against some of the world's best but to come up against them in front of a potential 3000-plus crowd at the stadium is a much more exciting prospect.
If Parry was to get the opportunity to square off against Taylor in Invercargill, he would need to qualify as the best South Island player during a tournament later this year.
The two Englishmen will be joined by top Australian players and the North and South Island champions in the series.
DartPlayers Australia chief executive Rob Denny, who is putting the series together, said to add some spice to the two-day tournament in Invercargill they would have the South Island champion play Taylor in the final match of the first night.
If that happens to be Parry it would create a buzz in the Invercargill stadium for hometown supporters.
Parry said to hold a darts tournament of this calibre was an exciting opportunity, not just for Invercargill, but New Zealand.
"They've never been to New Zealand before," he said about players at the level of Taylor and Lewis.
"I think 1983 was the last time (New Zealand) had something like this, but [darts] wasn't quite as big back then."
Parry predicts Southlanders would get in behind the tournament and turn out in good numbers.
"There are a lot of people who actually watch it on TV," he said.
The organisers were in negotiations with Christchurch for the event but chose Invercargill because of the stadium.
Meanwhile, Parry will head to Australia this month to compete in professional tournaments in Sydney and Perth.
The Sydney and Perth tournaments are part of a three-leg World Series of Darts event, with the other leg in Singapore, which Parry will not attend.
Parry is a three-time Oceanic Masters winner and was confirmed as the automatic qualifier from New Zealand for the Perth event after topping the DartsPlayers New Zealand rankings at the June 21 cut-off.
The Southlander will also be part of the New Zealand team which will take on Australia during their time in Sydney.
The Southland Times