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Rob Milkins and Michael Wasley prepare for snooker's Welsh Open

By Sportsnews  |  Posted: February 11, 2013

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Gloucester potters Rob Milkins and Michael Wasley will both be happy to pay the toll to cross the Severn Bridge this week, having qualified to play in the televised stages of the Welsh Open Snooker in Newport.

Wasley, 22, a former Beaufort School student, is still in his first season on the professional tour of 96 players.

Newport will see his debut in a major ranking event on UK soil, where he will play Andrew Higginson.

"I'm thrilled naturally." said Wasley.

"I played very well in both my qualifying matches and I felt strong.

"I had to beat Mark Davis who is in the Top 16, but I felt that put him under more pressure.

"Playing in Newport gives friends and family a chance to come down and watch, which is great.

"I'm lucky to get so much support from everyone at South West Snooker Academy in Quedgeley, as well all the lads in the Gloucester league, who I played with for years and my family too of course.

"I've had some experience now in venues and on television but the Welsh open is going to be another tremendous occasion for me. I can't wait."

Milkins, Gloucester's leading professional, is now bidding for a place in the elite Top 16 as he added to a string of good results this season by beating Paul Davison 4-2 to progress in the Welsh Open.

Milkins now faces twice former World Champion and Welsh favourite Mark Williams, in a sell out match at 7pm on Wednesday at the Newport Leisure Centre.

"I'm looking forward to it," said Milkins.

"It won't be easy, Mark will be favourite and he'll have the crowd on his side, but I don't mind that. It should be a great atmosphere."

"I'm concentrating on being more consistent and putting results on the board. I've still got a good chance of getting into the Top 16 and that's my main aim for the rest of the season."

All matches in the event are being televised by BBC Wales and Eurosport, with coverage worldwide via Asian and Chinese channels.

Wasley plays Andrew Higginson at 10.30am on Wednesday. Milkins plays Mark Williams at 7pm on Wednesday.

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