Leicester Lions are expected to provide a major test for the Staggs Bar Monarchs on Friday (tapes-up 7.30pm) in the club’s opening Championship fixture of the season.

Leicester were the first confirmed qualifiers confirmed for the Championship Shield semi-finals and in the Championship have already won away at Eastbourne with assistance from guest rider Josh Pickering of Edinburgh Monarchs.

Richie Worrall returns to one of his former clubs and Josh Bates is a proven Armadale track specialist while Scott Nicholls, a former Grand Prixz rider, has impressed at the West Lothian track in previous visits.

Alex Harkess, Monarchs’ team manger, said: “Leicester appear to be one of the top teams in our league from early fixtures.

“They do have some very good Armadale riders and we just have to be up for it.”

Monarchs go into the match on a high after scoring 67 at home last week and Harkess said: “Our riders did everything that was asked of them, but there won’t be many teams coming this season who are as poor as Scunthorpe were.”

A reminder that Monarchs travel to Birmingham for a league match at Perry Barr on Wednesday, May 22.

STAGGS BAR MONARCHS: Ricky Wells (capt.), Justin Sedgmen, Josh Pickering, Joel Andersson, Cameron Heeps, William Lawson, Luke Ruddick.

LEICESTER WATLING JCB LIONS: Scott Nicholls (capt.), Connor Mountain, Josh Bates, Ryan Douglas, Richie Worrall, Danny Phillips (guest), Ellis Perks.