Juan Francisco Rodriguez has been ruled out of the William Hill World Darts Championship, and will be replaced by Gordon Mathers.
Spain’s Rodriguez had won the South-West Europe Qualifier in Avila to secure his big-stage debut, but has tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of the tournament.
As such, he has now withdrawn from the World Championship, and is replaced by Australia’s Mathers, who was the next-ranked player on the reserve list.
The Brisbane ace will now play Jason Heaver in the first round on Sunday December 19, with the winner progressing to play Danny Noppert on Thursday December 23.
Mathers made his second World Championship appearance last year, and subsequently won a PDC Tour Card at the 2021 Qualifying School and has remained based in the UK throughout the year.