FORMER PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP WINNERS Michael van Gerwen and Paul Nicholson will meet in the first round of the 2017 finals in Minehead next month, where the Van Gerwen bids to defend his title.

The pair will be joined by four fellow ZWA stars between 24-26 October, with Vincent van der Voort, Cristo Reyes, Antonio Alcinas and Jonny Clayton all qualifying through the final Players Championship Order of Merit.

Former UK Open finalist Van der Voort will take on Robbie Green in round one, as Spanish number one Reyes meets Yorkshireman Peter Jacques.

Reyes’ World Cup teammate Alcinas goes up against Darren Webster, as Clayton – who won the final Players Championship event of the year – takes on Dutchman Jeffrey De Graaf.