SPEDDWAY: Hall in for Josef after Franc is called up by the Czechs

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SHEFFIELD skipper Richard Hall has been called up to Sunday’s Premier League Riders’ Championship on home shale in place of team-mate Josef Franc.

The Tigers captain was not in the initial 16-man line-up for the league’s showpiece event – which starts at 5pm - but now gets his opportunity to fight for the crown in front of his home fans.

Franc has been called up for the Czech Republic to ride in the UEM International Pairs championship in Rivne, Ukraine, on Saturday evening and the logistics of getting him back to Sheffield for the Sunday afternoon mean he will miss out.

Tigers manager David Hoggart said: “We always knew this was a possibility but the Czech Republic only qualified for this meeting last week and Josef was only named in the team over the weekend, so we couldn’t be sure.

“It just isn’t possible to get Josef back to Sheffield in time on the Sunday, he’s travelling to Ukraine by road and it’s a 700-mile drive from the Czech Republic.

“We looked at flights and what we could do but realistically, it was never really possible.”

Things aren’t exactly going to be easy for Hall though, as he himself is riding in an international meeting on Saturday afternoon.

Said Hoggart: “Richard was delighted when we told him that he’s in but ironically, he is riding in the Czech Republic on Saturday afternoon.

“The journey is an awful lot easier though, and Richard may even fly back himself and then someone else bring his bikes back.

“It’ll be a big ask for Richard but on his day we know that he can beat anyone round Owlerton, he’s just got to prepare well and get through the five qualifying heats. If he can get through to the latter stages he’s got a chance because we know he comes good at the back end of meetings.”