LEICESTER return to ROWE Motor Oil Premiership action after a three-week break when they visit defending champions Sheffield on Thursday (7.30pm).

The Watling JCB Lions have had an extended period to lick their wounds after losing at home to Ipswich last time out, with their next two meetings having been postponed.

But they now get set for a vital phase of the season with the race for the play-offs set to gather pace over the coming weeks.

Sheffield is one of the toughest venues to visit but the Lions were successful in one of their two appearances at the South Yorkshire circuit last season.

And although the Tigers snatched a last-heat victory when they raced at the Pidcock Motorcycles Arena, Beaumont Park back in April, they suffered a home defeat of their own at the hands of Ipswich in their last meeting.

Lions hand a debut to Sam Hagon in the Rising Star berth, who signed for the club prior to the postponed trip to Oxford and has had to wait patiently for his opportunity.

Meanwhile Sheffield are forced into three changes with Josh Pickering (collarbone) and Dan Gilkes (concussion) both ruled out of the meeting due to injury. The Tigers bring in Rory Schlein and Jake Mulford to guest, whilst No.1 Jack Holder is absent following the birth of his first child, and the Tigers will operate rider replacement.

Leicester manager Stewart Dickson said: “We know Sheffield, up until last week, have been very, very good at home, and I do think the fact they were missing Jason Edwards in that meeting cost them a home win.

“I’ve always said Ipswich and Sheffield are the two best teams, in my opinion, and Thursday will be another tough encounter for us.

“But if we can get all seven firing at one time, you never know. We’re already down on the aggregate point so it’s tough, but we will certainly go there and try to give a good account of ourselves as we always do.

“It will be Sam’s first match for the club, which will be good to see, and we look forward to welcoming him in without putting any additional pressure on the lad.”

SHEFFIELD: Jack Holder R/R, Rory Schlein, Chris Holder, Kyle Howarth, Tai Woffinden, Jason Edwards, Jake Mulford.
LEICESTER: Max Fricke, Richard Lawson, Ryan Douglas, Sam Masters, Luke Becker, Drew Kemp, Sam Hagon.

Next Home Meeting

Leicester Lions V Ipswich Witches
July 18, 2024 19.30

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