Stead is back but Hall will be Tigers absentee

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SHEFFIELD skipper Simon Stead will be fit to take his place in the side this evening as the Tigers take on league favourites Somerset.

Stead pulled out of his Elite League meeting with King’s Lynn on Monday after aggravating a shoulder injury riding in Poland, but Sheffield manager David Hoggart confirmed that his number one will return. They will still be without Richard Hall, though, who is expected to make his racing comeback in Monday’s British Final.

Hoggart said: “Simon will definitely be fit, but despite Richard making good progress he will be missing. “We traditionally go quite well at Somerset and Richard in particular rides it very well, so rider replacement will hamper us. But Somerset have an integral team member missing themselves in Nick Morris.”

The Sheffield lower order have come under fire in recent weeks for some below-par performances but Hoggart hopes that the Somerset circuit, which is similar to Sheffield’s own Owlerton track, will suit them.

“Jake Knight is a big track man, and Facundo (Albin) will have ridden tracks very similar to this back home in Argentina. It’s wide and you can properly race on it, that’s what we know Facu likes so we’re hopeful that he can have a good one.

“Similarly with Damien (Koppe), it isn’t a trick track where it’s easy to run into difficulties. It’s about making the start and getting your head down and Damien has shown glimpses of being able to do that. It’s a really tough ask against a very good side but we’ll see what happens, hopefully everything falls into place.”

Somerset: Jason Doyle, Alex Davies, Josh Grajczonek, Kyle Newman, Rider Replacement for Nick Morris, Tom Perry, Stefan Nielsen.

Sheffield: Simon Stead, Facundo Albin, Joe Haines, Rider Replacement for Richard Hall, Ricky Wells, Damien Koppe, Jake Knight.