GWENT will have not one but two representatives at the 2018 BDO World Darts Championships after Chris Harris joined Nick Kenny in qualifying for the Lakeside event.

Harris, 39, of Gilwern, won six matches in Bridlington to reach the tournament for the first time, while Ebbw Vale’s Kenny, 24, returns having made his championship debut in January.

The BDO’s top 24 players, which includes Kenny, are going to be accompanied in the first round of the competition by the winners of eight preliminary round matches.

Quietly spoken Harris, who like Kenny is a Welsh international, will contest one of those eight games on the famous Lakeside Country Club stage.

The Gwent duo are joined in the draw by fellow Welshmen Jim Williams, Dean Reynolds, Martin Phillips and Wayne Warren, while Port Talbot’s Rhian Griffiths features in the ladies’ tournament.

“I’ve been playing for 22 years and had only been to the Lakeside before to watch the tournament,” said Harris.

“As I’m a Welsh international I qualified for the play-offs in Bridlington and won six matches in a row to get to the Lakeside.

“It felt really good to qualify and I’m just going to give it my best when I get there.”

Fiancee Sian added: “Playing on the Lakeside stage is Chris’ biggest dream.

“When we first got toget-her he would say, ‘I’ll be on that stage one day’, and I’m hoping to be at the Lakeside to see him play – if I can get someone to look after the kids!

“We’re waiting for the draw now to see when Chris will be playing his first match.

“He’s done absolutely brilliantly to qualify and it’s going to be fantastic.”

Harris, who it’s fair to say likes to do his talking on the oche, doesn’t have an official darts nickname, although a few contemporaries reckon the ironic ‘Mr Noisy’ would be a good one.

As for Kenny (pictured below), his hopes of claiming back-to-back Lakeside appearances were all but secured before he travelled to Bridlington for the British Open, British Classic and Winmau World Masters.

South Wales Argus: UP TO THE OCHE: Cwmbran’s Nick Kenny makes his BDO World Championship debut today

Kenny made the last 32 of the first event, he reached the last 64 of the British Classic and then, seeded 16th, suffered a disappointing opening match defeat in the World Masters.

However, despite that setback against Northern Ireland’s Neil Duff, Kenny made it to Frimley Green ranked 22nd in the BDO.

Durrant will return to defend his world title as the number one seed with Mark McGeeney, Jamie Hughes, Scott Mitchell and Ross Montgomery making up the top five.

Three-time champion Martin Adams is set to make a historic 25th consecutive Lakeside appearance, while Brunei and Turkey will have representatives at the event for the first time.

Deta Hedman, a three-time runner-up, heads the women’s seedings, while defending champion Lisa Ashton and former winners Anastasia Dobromyslova and Trina Gulliver are also seeded.

The 41st BDO World Darts Championships run from January 6-14, 2018.