LEICESTER’S Joe Thompson will be back to lead the Lion Cubs in the National Development League next season.

And the club are delighted to welcome another local rider, Barwell-born Arran Butcher, as the first new member of the team for 2024.

Thompson, 19, has captained the Lion Cubs for the past two seasons as they clinched the league and KO Cup double last year and only missed out in the most unfortunate circumstances this time around.

With twin brother Dan now moving out of the NDL, Joe will take over as No.1 with a starting average of 9.08.

And remaining with the Cubs also gives him useful additional track time to go with his Premiership commitments as Rising Star for the Watling JCB Lions.

23-year-old Butcher, meanwhile, joins the club having spent the majority of his NDL career so far with Mildenhall, in addition to a season with Oxford in 2022 and earlier spells with Birmingham and Stoke.

Butcher pushed his average up to 4.69 this year, establishing himself as a second-string with the Fen Tigers, and he is expected to make further progress in 2024.

He is already a familiar face at the Pidcock Motorcycles Arena, Beaumont Park where he has frequently worked in the pits as a mechanic.

Lion Cubs boss Dave Howard said: “It’s great that Joe still fits into the NDL with the 36-point limit and not having a Championship average above 4.00.

“It will be great for the team to have Joe riding and captaining the Lion Cubs, and I am so grateful for his wish to keep riding for us.

“With Arran now living in Leicestershire, it’s good to have him in the team for 2024. He will be looking to progress further next year, and if and when he does, it will be great for the Lion Cubs!”

The Lion Cubs expect to make further announcements in the coming days.

Next Home Meeting

Leicester Lions V Ipswich Witches
July 18, 2024 19.30

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