March 27, 2015
Tapes up for start of speedway season at Highbridge's Oaktree Arena

The tapes go up on the opening match of the speedway season at the Oaktree Arena in Highbridge tonight (Friday, March 27th).

The Somerset Rebels will take on the 2014 Elite League Champions, the Poole Pirates, in a special season-opening challenge match.

Tonight's match will be the first occasion that the majority of the Somerset fans will see the 2015 Rebels septet in action, with the team going into Friday’s match fresh from their stunning 47-43 League Cup group match win at Peterborough on Sunday afternoon.

Poole will be at virtually full strength for today's visit to the Oaktree Arena, the only exception will be Paul Starke who will be riding for Somerset, Poole drafting in Scunthorpe’s Ellis Perks as a guest replacement at reserve.

The Pirates can boast two Individual World Champions in their line-up, namely Australian Chris Holder, the 2012 World Champion and Pole Maciej Janowski, the 2011 Under-21 World Champion, with Janowski also being a member of the successful 2013 Polish World Cup winning quartet, the pair are also amongst the 16 riders who will be contesting this year’s Grand Prix World Championship Series.

In addition, there will also be two familiar faces to Somerset fans in the Poole line-up with ex-Rebels Dakota North and Kyle Newman being members of the Pirates septet.

"Poole promoter Matt Ford said when we first arranged the fixture that he would be bringing a full strength Poole side to the Oaktree Arena, and he has been as good as his word," Somerset promoter Debbie Hancock told

"The only rider missing from their side is Paul Starke, who will be riding for ourselves, and so Poole will bring in a guest replacement for Paul."

"We will be making a slight increase to our admission prices for this special challenge match with both the adult and concession prices going up by £1, to £16 and £14 respectively, with a reminder to fans that season tickets are not valid for this meeting."

"It should be a really great occasion, and a chance for the Somerset fans to see some of the Elite League’s top riders such as Chris Holder and Maciej Janowski flying around the Oaktree Arena, a sight not to be missed!"


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