Higgins aims for World Championship double

John Higgins is aiming to complete a unique double at the Six Reds World Championship in Killarney next month.

Higgins captured the 15 red world title for a third time at the Crucible in Sheffield last season.

And the Scot is part of a top class field of 160 players for the first World Championship contested under the short form version of the game.

He will be joined by 11 other members of snooker’s elite top 16, including Stephen Hendry, Shaun Murphy, Mark Selby, Neil Robertson and Marco Fu while Ireland’s Ken Doherty leads the local challenge.

And Higgins believes the action will be fast, furious and highly competitive.

“It will be more relaxed than the Crucible but as soon as you get involved in any tournament you want to win it,” he said.

“It’ll be enjoyable, with 160 players from all over the world, making it one of the biggest tournaments I’ve ever played in.

“Six reds snooker is more of a leveller, which is good for some of the amateur guys because they can see how close they are to the established names, but I still think the top players will do well.

“It’s cut-throat, one chance snooker but it’s something different and fun to play in.

“It’s also good to be going back to Ireland. I played in a World Series event in Killarney earlier this year and the support we got there was terrific.”

Higgins will be joined in Killarney by another world champion, Reanne Evans, who won the leading title in the women’s game for a fifth time earlier this year.

Six reds snooker is played using the same rules as the established game but with nine fewer reds. It has been described as snooker’s version of Twenty/20 cricket.

The World Championship runs at the INEC in Killarney from December 15 to 18. Entry is free for the first two days with tickets costing €10 on the final two days.

The 160 players from as far afield as Brazil, India and the United Arab Emirates will be split into 32 groups of five for the round robin stage, played over the first two days, with the knockout phase getting underway on the 17th.