NICK Howell is 'raring to go' as he launches his bid to become world champion.

The World No. 5 returns to The Oratory School next week to take on the top-ranked player, Camden Riviere, in the first eliminator on Monday and Wednesday.

The two will lock horns in a best-of-nine sets contest, with the winner advancing to play the victor of the game between Chris Chapman and Ben Taylor-Matthews later in the year.

Whoever comes through that will then challenge the reigning and 13-time world champion, Rob Fahey MBE, the player regarded as the greatest of all time, for the world crown.

Howell, who was a full-sports scholar at The Oratory, said: "I'm in pretty good shape and raring to go. It's going to be a big event."

The 33-year-old, who previously spent seven years as a golf professional competing on the Jamega Tour, Euro Pro Tour and Australasian Tour, is currently at a career-high ranking and comes into the competition on the back of winning the Australian Open doubles along side Chapman.

In that competition he had to overcome his father, Jonathan, in the first round, and he is due to travel over from Australia to lend his support next week.

In a further twist, Jonathan, who was ranked as high as No. 4 during his career, was the inaugural professional when The Oratory opened their court back in 1989.

Howell's brother, Benny, who plays cricket for Gloucestershire and various Twenty20 franchises around the world, will also be backing his sibling.

Meanwhile, there will be a series of events and activities for juniors and adults to engage with the players and to have a go on court in the run-up to the event, with various opportunities to meet the players, hit some balls with them and get some useful comments and tips.

Oratory School Director of Sport, Steve Tomlinson, said: "We are very much looking forward to the event and welcoming Nick back."

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