Sheffield Crucible: newcomers for Ronnie O’Sullivan and Mark Selby

Flashback to last year: Mark Selby celebrates after winning the final of the Dafabet World Snooker Championships at The Crucible, Sheffield.
Flashback to last year: Mark Selby celebrates after winning the final of the Dafabet World Snooker Championships at The Crucible, Sheffield.

Ronnie O’Sullivan and defending champion Mark Selby will tackle Crucible debutants in the first round of the Betfred World Championship in Sheffield.

Five-time winner O’Sullivan, the 39-year-old The Essex Exocet, will face Manchester cueman Craig Steadman, who at seven years younger is set for his bow at what is still regarded as 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 of the Betfred World Championship:

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.