LEICESTER’S 2023 Premiership team is complete with the signings of Australian duo Justin Sedgmen and Jake Allen.

Both riders are experienced top-flight performers with Sedgmen set to slot into the top five for the Watling JCB Lions, whilst Allen will start the campaign at reserve.

Sedgmen, 30, joins the club after a positive spell with Sheffield this year. He joined the Tigers in mid-season and helped them to the Premiership Grand Final, where they finished as runners-up, before securing silverware in the League Cup.

He will also be racing in the Championship at nearby Birmingham after making a big impression at Perry Barr having joined the Brummies in May.

Sedgmen said: “It was a good offer to go and ride for Leicester, and it works out pretty well for me with being at Birmingham on a Wednesday and Leicester just down the road on a Thursday too.

“The track at Leicester seemed to get a lot better towards the end of the season, and there are positive signs too with the equipment they’ve purchased from Swindon so there should be a good race-track next year.

“I raced there three times in 2022 and I had two pretty decent results, the third one was kind of average, but we’ll do some work, we’ll do some practice and get the track dialled in and it should be all good.

“With Nick (Morris) and Max (Fricke) there as well, it should be a good mixture. Nick is at Birmingham as well, so there will be some familiar faces around and it should be fun. Stewart (Dickson) seems to have put a pretty decent team together, so we can’t complain with that!”

Allen, meanwhile, saw a brief spell with Sheffield himself this year cut short by injury, but pre-Covid he was an integral part of the Ipswich team which reached the Grand Final in 2019.

The 27-year-old has been a regular in British Speedway since 2016 and is expected to also line up in the Championship once again next season.

He said: “Stewart and I have always had a good relationship, so it was quite easy to get a deal done and I’m really looking forward to it.

“Leicester is a track where I’ve had a few good meetings in the past and it’s the sort of track where if you’re on, you’re on, and if you’re off, you’re off! It can be quite a difficult one if you’re behind on the set-ups, but it’s definitely a track I’ll look forward to riding regularly.

“I had a really good year in 2019, then we had the Covid year, but I still feel like I had quite a good year in ’21 although I struggled a bit with Ipswich towards the end.

“I’m looking forward to putting this year behind me where I had injuries and also a couple of family illnesses back home at the start of the season, so my head was a bit all over the place.

“But we seem to be all through that, so fingers crossed it keeps going well and I’m looking forward to the challenge next year.”

Dickson admits he has mulled over several possible permutations regarding the Lions’ 2023 line-up and has settled on the one he believes gives the club the best possible chance of making a success of their Premiership move.

He said: “We’ve gone with a team that I think gives us overall strength, and I think we’ve got scoring power where we need it.

“What we’ve also got is an experienced team with the exception of Dan Thompson, which you’re never going to have with a Rising Star, and I’m very happy with Dan in that position.

“I look at the other sides and I think it’s going to be very competitive, but I’m pleased with what we’ve been able to put together.”

The club can also confirm matters are progressing well with regards to National Development League team planning, and rider announcements should follow in the near future.

LEICESTER LIONS 2023: Max Fricke 8.55, Richard Lawson 7.71, Chris Harris 7.40, Nick Morris 6.48, Justin Sedgmen 4.44, Jake Allen 4.00, Dan Thompson (RS)

Next Home Meeting

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

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