FLYING Ryan Douglas is returning to Leicester to complete the club’s Sports Insure Premiership line-up for 2024.

The classy Australian has already spent two seasons with the Watling JCB Lions, playing a big part in their Championship success of 2019, and he rode for them again in the campaign immediately following the pandemic.

Douglas then took a further step up after rejoining Scunthorpe, and in 2023 he recorded the highest average in the second tier with an impressive 9.56 figure.

In the Premiership he has ridden for Wolverhampton since midway through 2019, and he becomes the third team member of the former Monmore club to switch to Leicester this winter.

He ended the season on a 7.14 average, just ahead of fellow Lions signing Sam Masters, and interestingly his away average was higher than that which he achieved at home.

And he showed he still very much knows the way around the Pidcock Motorcycles Arena, Beaumont Park, with four straight wins in a 12-point haul in Wolves’ away win in mid-August, as well as an impressive performance as a guest for Belle Vue in April when he and Dan Bewley clinched a Super Heat victory for the Aces.

The signing is subject to appropriate paperwork and BSP approval.

Leicester manager Stewart Dickson said: “Dougy is back with us, and I think he liked our track better last season after the work that had been done on it. That showed in his scores when he was racing against us.

“I don’t think it’s any secret that he wasn’t that comfortable around Monmore Green, he was Wolves’ fourth highest averaged rider there, but he had their highest average away from Monmore, so that tells me he’s better on the road than what he was at Wolverhampton.

“Certainly if he can bring his Leicester form to our home track next year, and keep up his away form, we’re onto a winner.

“He’s second in our averages as he comes into the team although our riding order won’t be set in stone. Sometimes I play around with things and do horses for courses depending on the track and the opposition, and that will continue.

“Overall I feel we have a really strong top five, and whilst one or two might say we’re a bit light at reserve I honestly don’t think so. I feel we have two riders at reserve who are still developing, and all in all I’m very happy with the team.

“We’ll be raring to go come March, and we’ll be ready for the 14th when we host Belle Vue which is a great opening fixture.”

WATLING JCB LIONS 2024 (Subject to approval): Max Fricke 8.98, Ryan Douglas 7.14, Sam Masters 7.13, Luke Becker 7.03, Richard Lawson 6.41, Drew Kemp 3.03, Joe Thompson (RS).

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