Wednesday May 02, 2018
SHEFFIELD turn their attentions to league action on Thursday as they begin their defence of the Championship title at home to Peterborough (7.30).

Despite missing the opportunity to guarantee themselves a place in the Championship Shield semi-finals at Newcastle last weekend, Tigers have warmed up for their league campaign in solid fashion.

They’ve won four of their six Northern Group fixtures in the competition and their unbeaten home record at Owlerton is in tact.

Captain Kyle Howarth returns to the side after missing that trip to Newcastle, while James Shanes will be full of confidence at reserve after winning his first continental meeting of the season in Germany on Tuesday.

With concerns growing over the absence of Josh Bates through injury, Tigers bosses have moved to bring 2017 title winner Jan Graversen back into the side on a temporary contract.

And that’s a move that in-form winter signing Charles Wright believes will benefit the team.

“We’d done okay covering for Josh with rider replacement but it was putting a lot of pressure on the rest of the team,” Wright said.

“When you’ve got a full team you can focus more on your programmed rides as you know when they’re coming and I think a having a full team will settle us all down even more.

“I couldn’t be happier with the way I’ve started my own season and I think there have been plenty of signs that we’re going to be fine as a team this year as well.

“Peterborough have got some good riders in their team but we’re very confident going into every meeting at Sheffield and we want to start off our league matches with a win.”

Peterborough are led by seven-time British Champion Scott Nicholls - who ironically was a key guest as the Tigers claimed the main silverware last season.

The visitors also include Danish star Ulrich Ostergaard who won the Premier League Riders’ Championship at Sheffield in 2015.

SHEFFIELD: Kyle Howarth, Todd Kurtz, Lasse Bjerre, Jan Graversen, Charles Wright, Jack Smith, James Shanes.

PETERBOROUGH: Scott Nicholls, Emil Grondal, Nike Lunna, Michael Palm Toft, Ulrich Ostergaard, Tom Bacon, Simon Lambert.

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