The Dafabet Masters - Day Eight

Ronnie O’Sullivan is not impressed with the young talent in the game (Picture: Getty Images)

Ronnie O’Sullivan says he would have to lose an arm and a leg to fall out of the world’s top 50, such is the dearth of talent in snooker.

The Rocket was in good form as he booked his place in the World Snooker Championship quarter-final with a 13-10 win over Ding Junhui on Sunday night.

The 44-year-old will meet Mark Williams in the last eight in a battle of two legends of the game, both of whom turned professional in 1992.

Asked whether he would have believed someone in ’92 who said it would be O’Sullivan vs Williams at the Crucible in 2020, the Rocket said he would not, but having seen the young talent in the game now, he is not surprised at all.

‘Probably if you asked me then, no. But if you look at the standard of play then I’d say yeah,’ O’Sullivan told the BBC.

‘People like me, John [Higgins] and Mark, you look at the younger players coming through, they’re not that good, really.

‘Most of them, they’d probably do well as half decent amateurs, not even amateurs, I mean, they’re so bad.

‘A lot of them you see now, you think, cor, I’ve probably got to lose an arm and a leg to fall out of the top 50.

‘So that’s really why we’re still hovering around still, just how poor it is down that end.’

Rob Walker suggested the standard was not that bad, but Ronnie stuck to his guns, saying: ‘It is.’

It is not the first time the Rocket has made the point, questioning the merits of young players in the game while talking to Stephen Hendry on Instagram during lockdown.

‘No one, I haven’t seen anyone,’ said Ronnie on possible future world champions.

Exclusive Mandatory Credit: Photo by Benjamin Mole/WST/REX (10731327f) Ronnie O'Sullivan Exclusive - Betfred World Snooker Championship, Day Four, Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, UK - 03 Aug 2020

O’Sullivan is bidding for a sixth world title this year (Picture: Benjamin Mole/WST/REX)

‘When you look around you think, who’s out there that’s any good?

‘I’m still playing 44, [John] Higgins 44, we shouldn’t be competing really but we’ve been lucky that the fresh crop haven’t been that good to knock us off our perch.’

O’Sullivan’s clash with 45-year-old Williams begins on Monday afternoon at the Crucible.

MORE: Ronnie O’Sullivan surges past Ding Junhui and into World Snooker Championship quarter-final

MORE: Judd Trump and Kyren Wilson bury the hatchet ahead of World Snooker Championship showdown

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