Jackson Page will appear in the qualifying stages of the 2017 World Championship after the WPBSA announced the selection criteria for the amateur players who have been invited to compete in the sport's blue-riband event.
Reigning World and European Under-18 champion Page, who reached the third round of the Welsh Open in February, is one of 16 amateurs set for action at Ponds Forge in Sheffield, alongside the players ranked between 17 and 128 in the world rankings following the conclusion of the China Open next month.
The 15-year-old Welshman received one of eight Home Nations invitations along with fellow Welshman Tyler Rees, as well as English amateur winner Jamie Bodle and 2001 World Championship quarter-finalist Patrick Wallace.
Meanwhile, 11-time Ladies’ World champion Reanne Evans, who notably gave former Crucible king Ken Doherty a run for his money before narrowly losing 10-8 in the opening round in 2015, will have another crack in the event, while there will also be a place on offer to the winner of the revamped World Seniors Championship, with the likes of former winners Stephen Hendry and John Parrott in the mix.
The qualifiers will take place from April 5-12, with 128 players battling it out over three rounds to join the top 16 seeds for the final stages at the Crucible just three days later.
The draw for the qualifiers will be made following the China Open, which finishes on 2 April.
WPBSA Chairman, Jason Ferguson said: “As the sport’s world governing body, it is important that we are able to encourage development by working with partners in different regions, and these qualification places to our World Championship allows us to do just that.
“15-year-old Jackson Page is an example of a player who has taken the opportunity presented to him with both hands already in 2017, having qualified through the WPBSA’s development work with national governing bodies and during the Welsh Open last month, when he won two matches against current professionals and gained enormous exposure in the media.
“Last week he became the 2017 EBSA European U-18 champion in Cyprus and he continues to battle it out in the European Championship to try and earn that golden ticket to the World Snooker Tour. We look forward to welcoming him and the other successful qualifiers to Sheffield next month and seeing who will be able to take full advantage of the opportunity and perhaps even make it all the way to the Crucible!”
WPBSA Qualifying Criteria
8 – Home Nations NGB qualifiers – Jackson Page (WAL), Tyler Rees (WAL), Ross Vallance (SCO), Chris Totten (SCO), Jordan Brown (NIR), Patrick Wallace (NIR), Jamie Bodle (ENG), Wayne Townsend (ENG)
1 – 2016 IBSF U-21 Championship winner – Xu Si (CHN)
1 – EBSA European Championship winner – TBC
1 – EBSA European U-21 Championship winner – Alexander Ursenbacher (SUI)
1 – EBSA European U-18 Championship winner – Amir Nardeia (ISR)*
2 – EBSA Order of Merit 2016/17 – Gerard Greene (NIR), Zack Richardson (ENG)
1 – 2017 World Seniors Championship winner – TBC
1 – 2016 WLBS World Women’s Championship winner – Reanne Evans (ENG)
*Israel’s Amir Nardeia takes a place as EBSA U-18 Championship runner-up because winner Jackson Page has already received an invitation as a Home Nations NGB qualifier. 2016 IBSF Championship winner Soheil Vahedi was also invited but could not obtain a visa in time to compete, however WPBSA looks forward to welcoming him to the 2017/18 World Snooker Tour.