EDINBURGH v LIONS, PREVIEW

Thursday May 16, 2019
LEICESTER will have two of their trio of recent injury victims back as they resume their Championship campaign at Edinburgh on Friday.

Australian star Ryan Douglas sat out the Watling JCB Lions’ spectacular double victory over Eastbourne earlier this month with a shoulder injury, whilst Josh Bates and Jack Thomas both picked up knocks during those matches.

Thomas remains sidelined this weekend due to a dislocated shoulder, but Douglas and Bates are both back for the trip to Armadale, where Bates scored heavily in a guest appearance for Berwick a fortnight ago.

Newcastle’s Danny Phillips stands in for Thomas on Friday, whilst Lion Cubs rider Luke Ruddick fills the gap in the trip to Brough Park on Sunday. Ironically, both riders also face the Lions over the weekend with their regular clubs.

Edinburgh have suffered a lack of consistency so far in 2019, resulting in their elimination from the Championship Shield.

But they are unbeaten at home and racked up a huge 67-23 win over a depleted Scunthorpe side on their own circuit last week.

The Lions’ top two are both noted performers around the Scottish venue, though, with Richie Worrall enjoying a points-laden stint with the Monarchs in the second half of last season.

And evergreen skipper Scott Nicholls, who turned 41 on Thursday, scored 17+1 from seven rides in his Armadale appearance for Peterborough last season.

With the Lions sitting proudly at the top of the Championship in the early stages, Nicholls knows this weekend’s two matches are a further opportunity to enhance their position.

He said: “Everyone is riding with a lot of determination and motivation, and it’s a case of keeping that going for the whole season.

“Ellis (Perks) has gone down to reserve, and what’s really good is that whatever happens we’ll have a decent rider down there as long as they maintain their form, and that’s going to be key.

“We had a little fortune in the last race at Eastbourne with Richard (Lawson) hitting the deck, but that’s speedway and you have to take the luck that comes your way.

“There’s an awful long way to go yet, but we’re having a really good run of form, and to win there is a great sign.”

A busy weekend for the club also features a home match for the Roger Webster Lion Cubs against Belle Vue in the National League on Saturday. Preview and team news to follow on Friday.

EDINBURGH: Ricky Wells, Justin Sedgmen, Josh Pickering, Joel Andersson, Cameron Heeps, William Lawson, Luke Ruddick.
LEICESTER: Scott Nicholls, Connor Mountain, Josh Bates, Ryan Douglas, Richie Worrall, Danny Phillips, Ellis Perks.



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