Speedway: Tigers land Italian World Cup ace Nico to ease injury crisis

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Italian World Cup star Nico Covatti has been rewarded for his impressive form by sealing a switch to Sheffield.

Covatti joins the Owlerton side as a replacement for Ty Proctor who is facing a spell on the sidelines with a thigh injury - possibly the rest of the season.

He was a firm favourite with Birmingham supporters and returned to the club as a replacement for Edward Kennett, only for the Brummies to fold last month due to financial problems.

Now he’s ready to relaunch his British career with a first venture into the Premier League.

Sheffield boss Damien Bates said: “This is a great signing for Sheffield Speedway and we are very excited about it.

“Anyone who saw him riding for Italy in the World Cup will be impressed because he is an all-action rider who always gives his best, that’s why he is so popular at Birmingham.

“Obviously it’s a shame what happened there and nobody likes to see a club close down, but we’re pleased to have him on board and I’m sure he will be exciting to watch.”

Covatti was left angry by the closure of the Brummies and slammed former owner Alan Phillips on social media.

He used the World Cup meeting with Great Britain at King’s Lynn to put himself in the shop window and he makes his Sheffield debut against the powerhouse Edinburgh Monarchs at Owlerton next Thursday.

Sheffield go to Berwick tonight with another patched-up side which includes Chris Widman at reserve for the injured Josh Bates.

Bates has been told to take 10 days rest after suffering bad bruising in a crash at Owlerton on Thursday.

Joe Screen’s side will bring in Aussie duo Justin Sedgmen and Mason Campton as guests for Proctor and Andre Compton at Shielfield Park whilst rider replacement operates for Lanham.

SHEFFIELD: Simon Stead, Leigh Lanham R/R, Ben Wilson, Mason Campton, Justin Sedgmen, Taylor Poole, Chris Widman.