SHEFFIELD TIGERS: Pepe Franc returns as Tigers look to finish in style

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CZECH star Pepe Franc will make his return for Sheffield against his former club Berwick tonight as they look to end the season on a high (7.45).

Franc, who was a sensation as Wildcard in the Czech Republic Grand Prix in May, has been missing for over a month with injuries sustained in a World Longtrack meeting.

His return is a timely boost for the city side as they battle their ongoing injury crisis, Joe Haines being the latest man to face a spell on the sidelines. After struggling with guests, Tigers owner Neil Machin admits it is a relief to have Franc back leading the side.

He said: “I got the call from Pepe on Tuesday night informing me that he is fit to return and it was great news, we’ve missed his presence in the side. We’ve really struggled to cover for him and it has cost us at times; you can see that in our results.

“Pepe rode at Pardubice in his homeland on Tuesday and scored 13+1, and he beat some very good riders on the way.

“We need him to come back in and hit the ground running because it’s important that we end the year on a positive note.”

Berwick are not without injuries themselves but have the fortune of calling on a better selection of guests, and leading them tonight will be Danish starlet Lasse Bjerre - the man who romped to an 18 point maximum at Owlerton for Leicester just weeks ago.

They are without the services of former Sheffield duo Ricky Ashworth and Lee Complin who miss out on a return to their old home circuit with injuries.

Sheffield meanwhile, will operate the rider replacement facility for Emiliano Sanchez and British youngster Jake Knight deputises for Haines.

TIGERS: Franc, Skidmore, Rider Replacement, Hall, Wells, Schramm, Knight.

BERWICK: Bjere, Bellego, Barrett, Aspegren, Alden, Dyer, Jakobsen.