Leicester have made two changes to their team on the eve of the new season which starts with the visit of the Swindon Robins to Beaumont Park on Saturday 1st April.
The Lions have moved to bring in two British Champions; the senior title holder Danny King and Josh Bates who triumphed in the Under-21 final. They will take the places of Andzejs Lebedevs and Kevin Wolbert.
“It is a reluctant move that we have made and with a heavy heart. We have become increasingly concerned about the availability of Andzejs Lebedevs who we believe will miss too many meetings for us in order to fulfil his commitments to his club in Poland. We have already received confirmation through his representative that he is required to attend training events in Poland on three dates when we have matches during April and May. Looking further ahead in the season there are an additional fixtures when the same situation could occur and we are not prepared to place the club in such a position of fielding a weakened team. Leicester fans have witnessed three seasons of struggle and they deserve a degree of success which we have committed to deliver” said the Watling JCB Lions Promoter David Darcy.
“Unfortunately replacing like for like in terms of his points potential is so difficult so close to the start of the season. We looked at different permutations to enable us to make just one change and so keep Kevin Wolbert in the team but we came to the conclusion that it was not possible to maintain our overall strength and keep as close to the points limit so we reluctantly have had to release Kevin too. We take no pleasure from the actions we have been forced into and wish to thank both Andzejs and Kevin for their understanding and professionalism in accepting our decisions” added Darcy.
The two changes mean that Danny King will form a heat leader spearhead with Kim Nilsson and Kacper Gomolski. Josh Bates will partner Danny Ayres at reserve with Erik Riss and Josh Auty occupying positions in the main body of the team.