Barry Hawkins has been in good company for the build-up to this year’s World Snooker Championships, which begin on Saturday.
The Ditton cueman, pictured, has been practising with a host of top-ranked players, including the 2010 champion Australian Neil Robertson, ahead of his first-round match against world No.7 Stephen Maguire on Monday (10am).
Hawkins (pictured) has yet to progress to the second round at the Crucible, despite some close-fought ties, and wants to make a name for himself on the biggest stage of all.
He said: "Practice is going well and to play alongside the likes of Neil Robertson can only help.
"I would just like to get through this first round match and experience what it’s like in the second round. That would be lovely.
"After making the World Championships for the first couple of times it was just exciting to be there, but just to get there now is not enough.
"I have been on the main tour for the last 11 years and I’ve seen people win things, people who I think I am just as good as."
Picture: Ivan Hirschowitz