World Snooker Championship: Ronnie O'Sullivan to face Hull

World Snooker Championship

  • Venue: The Crucible, Sheffield
  • Dates: 19 April - 5 May

Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, Red Button, online, connected TVs, mobiles and tablets. Updates on BBC Radio 5 live

Defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan will face Robin Hull, the lowest-ranked player in the competition, in round one of the World Championship in Sheffield.

O'Sullivan, 38, starts on Saturday against Finland's world number 122, who last played at the Crucible in 2002.

World number one Neil Robertson faces Robbie Williams as he looks to win the title for a second time.

Crucible debutants

Xiao Guodong: Age 25, world number 25

Robbie Williams: 27, world number 68

Michael Wasley: 24, world number 73

Kyren Wilson: 22, world number 89

Mark Selby, the 2007 finalist, plays Michael White, while Ding Junhui will face debutant Michael Wasley.

O'Sullivan, seeded number one as champion, is looking to claim his sixth world crown and has been in impressive form this year, winning the Masters in January and the Welsh Open with a maximum 147 break in March.

His opponent, 39-year-old Hull, retired from the game in 2008 due to a heart complaint but returned to competition three years later and came through four rounds of qualifying to reach the sport's biggest stage.

"I am surprised Robin has not done better than he has, although he has had some illness and it won't be easy commuting from Finland, where he lives. It is one of the tougher matches in the draw."

Hill defeated 2002 champion Peter Ebdon in the final qualifying round on Wednesday.

Ebdon misses out for the first time since turning professional 22 years ago, along with former champions Mark Williams, Graeme Dott and two-time finalist Matthew Stevens.

World Snooker Championship: Great finals at the Crucible

Robbie Williams, Wasley, China's Xiao Guodong and 22-year-old Kyren Wilson will compete in Sheffield for the first time.

Ding, winner of five ranking titles this season, is aiming to become the first player to win six in a single campaign, when he takes on Gloucester's Wasley starting on Sunday.

Four-time champion John Higgins comes up against Scot Alan McManus, 2011 runner-up Judd Trump plays Tom Ford while last year's finalist Barry Hawkins meets David Gilbert.

First round draw in full:

Ronnie O'Sullivan (Eng, seeded 1) v Robin Hull (Fin)

Joe Perry (Eng, 16) v Jamie Burnett (Sco)

Marco Fu (HK, 9) v Martin Gould (Eng)

Shaun Murphy (Eng, 8) v Jamie Cope (Eng)

Barry Hawkins (Eng, 5) v David Gilbert (Eng)

Ricky Walden (Eng, 12) v Kyren Wilson (Eng)

Mark Davis (Eng, 13) v Dominic Dale (Wal)

Ding Junhui (Chn, 4) v Michael Wasley (Eng)

Mark Selby (Eng, 3) v Michael White (Wal)

Ali Carter (Eng, 14) v Xiao Guodong (Chn)

John Higgins (Sco, 11) v Alan McManus (Sco)

Stuart Bingham (Eng, 6) v Ken Doherty (Ire)

Judd Trump (Eng, 7) v Tom Ford (Eng)

Stephen Maguire (Sco, 10) v Ryan Day (Wal)

Mark Allen (NI, 15) v Michael Holt (Eng)

Neil Robertson (Aus, 2) v Robbie Williams (Eng)