LEICESTER make a second attempt to kick off their new Premiership era when they visit Ipswich in the KO Cup on Thursday (7.30pm).

The Watling JCB Lions travel to Foxhall for a first leg tie, with the return at the Pidcock Motorcycles Arena, Beaumont Park now set for Monday April 17 after last week’s rain-off.

And that means the first priority is to keep things as close as possible, against a Witches side who have already made a flying start to the season.

The Suffolk outfit pulled off the stunning signing of former World No.3 Emil Sayfutdinov on the eve of the campaign, and he joins ex-Lions No.1 Jason Doyle as part of a top-class spearhead, and the duo have already anchored their team to an away win at Peterborough.

But the Lions have plenty of Foxhall track knowledge in their ranks with Richard Lawson, Chris Harris and Jake Allen also being recent Ipswich riders, whilst Max Fricke piled up a score of 16+1 on his last visit in July 2022.

Manager Stewart Dickson said: “It will be great to get racing for the first time and whilst we know it’s going to be a tough one, sometimes when you go to a venue for their first home meeting it does give you a chance to get in and around them.

“There’s a lot of excitement for our first meeting back at this level, and we can’t wait to get going.

“Ipswich look a strong side and they had a great result at Peterborough, so we need to go there and look to keep things tight.

“We want to leave ourselves in a position where everyone can look forward to the second leg with us having a chance of going through.

“We have three former Ipswich riders and plenty of experience at that track, so as I’ve said in the build-up to the season there should be no surprises.

“Max, Bomber and Justin (Sedgmen) all had some track time on Monday at Belle Vue which is important, and we have other riders who have been at practices in the last few days. I know that’s not the same as racing but at least it’s time on the bike.”

The Lions’ opening home meeting of the season sees them face Peterborough in the Premiership on April 13, but prior to that the Lion Cubs host Berwick in their first NDL match of the season on Saturday (7pm).

IPSWICH: Jason Doyle, Keynan Rew, Danny King, Erik Riss, Emil Sayfutdinov, Danyon Hume, Joe Thompson.
LEICESTER: Max Fricke, Justin Sedgmen, Richard Lawson, Chris Harris, Nick Morris, Jake Allen, Dan Thompson.

Next Home Meeting

Leicester Cubs V Scunthorpe Stags / Sheffield Prowlers
May 19, 2024

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