Sheffield Tigers speedway: Lewis Kerr and Adam Ellis out, Chris Holder in, and big defeat at Wolves

Sheffield suffered a big defeat at Wolverhampton tonight, in a day which saw big changes to the club’s line up announced.
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Tigers announced this afternoon they would be making deadline day changes to their line-up, with former British champion Adam Ellis and reserve Lewis Kerr leaving, to be replaced by former World Chamption Chris Holder, and Danish rider Claus Vissing.

They also announced that three time world champion Tai Woffinden would be staying at Owlerton until the end of the season, in place of Jack Holder, who is still recovering from a broken wrist suffered riding for Australia in the speedway world cup.

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The changes come into place for Tigers clash with Kings Lynn at home on Thursday.

Adam Ellis, left, and Lewis Kerr, right, are being replaced in the Sheffield Tigers line up. Tigers lost 55-35 at Wolverhampton after the changes, which see Chris Holder and Claus Vissing arrive at Owlerton from Thursday, were announced. PIctures: David Kessen, National WorldAdam Ellis, left, and Lewis Kerr, right, are being replaced in the Sheffield Tigers line up. Tigers lost 55-35 at Wolverhampton after the changes, which see Chris Holder and Claus Vissing arrive at Owlerton from Thursday, were announced. PIctures: David Kessen, National World
Adam Ellis, left, and Lewis Kerr, right, are being replaced in the Sheffield Tigers line up. Tigers lost 55-35 at Wolverhampton after the changes, which see Chris Holder and Claus Vissing arrive at Owlerton from Thursday, were announced. PIctures: David Kessen, National World

Tru Plant Tigers co-promoter Damien Bates said: “As a club we didn’t ideally want to make any changes but one or two things have happened over the past few days which means our hand has been forced.

“Jack (Holder) has been honest about where he is at and whilst he is close to getting back on a bike he doesn’t want to let Sheffield down should he realise he’s not quite 100 per cent race fit.“Obviously we’re pretty gutted about that as we would’ve loved Jack to have been back with us for the business end of the season after everything he’s given to the club the rest of this year.“What that has enabled us to do is keep hold of Tai until the end of the season which, on the other hand, is a massive boost for Sheffield Speedway.“Elsewhere, recent commitment issues from other riders in the team suddenly gave us a bit of a headache and at such an important time of the season we felt it was something we simply had to address."

It was being reported tonight that Kerr, who has been busy for Sheffield while the club has been operating rider replacement in recent weeks, would be moving to Leicester.

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But in their first meeting after the changes were announced, Tigers suffered a heavy 55-35 defeat to Wolverhampton at Monmore Green.

With Kyle Newman guesting for Kerr, and the club operating rider replacement for Ellis, the club got off to a great start when Kyle Howarth and Newman won a 5-1 heat advantage against Sam Masters and Steve Worrall in the first heat. But things went downhill from there, with a 5-1 advantage for tactical substitute Woffinden and Tobiaz Musielak over Rory Schlein and Zach Cook in heat 11 the Tigers only other heat advantage in a night to forget.

Tigers manager Simon Stead later told Eurosport that Tigers had done a lot of their important hard work in their last two meetings, which had seen them win at Leicester and at home to Wolves last week, adding they knew tonight’s fixture would be tough.

He added: “We’re back to full strength on Thursday, and we need to kick in then.”

Monday’s results left Sheffield still in third place on points difference ahead of Leicester, who have ridden on more meeting.

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Wolverhampton 55: Ryan Douglas 12 (3), Luke Becker 11 (1), Rory Schlein 9 (1), Steve Worrall 8, Sam Masters 6(1), Zach Cook 6, Leon Flint 3(1)

Sheffield 35: Tai Woffinden 9 (1), Josh Pickering 7(1), Kyle Howarth 7, Kyle Newman 6(1), Tobiasz Musielak 5 (2), Jason Edwards 1