The Ipswich Witches begin their defence of the Knockout Cup against Leicester with the first leg of the quarter-final at the Pidcock Motorcycles Arena tonight (7.30pm).

The Witches won the competition in 2023 and met the Lions at the same stage of the cup during that run, winning both the home and away legs against the Lions.

There are changes to the visitors’ line-up due to the latest averages released. Keynan Rew drops to reserve with Jordan Jenkins moving to number two whilst Adam Ellis is now at number four.

It will be Ipswich’s first away trip of 2024, having won both of their Premiership fixtures so far at Foxhall as they look to carry on that form on their travels and put themselves in a good position to advance to the next round in the second leg at Foxhall on Thursday.

Witches boss Ritchie Hawkins said: “Next week is going to be very tough, it is a tough draw. We will go there knowing we had great results there last year, but they will be confident in the strength of their side, and they will be confident they can go a job at Foxhall too.

“They have lots of riders that ride Foxhall well, so we have got to go there on Monday and look to perform and win that first leg. The cup run last year was terrific and we want to carry that on and get through this tough tie and hopefully we can go on another run.

“We have known this is going to happen with the averages before the season started and the boys had a plan as we knew about it weeks ago. Jordan moves into the team and that shows the progress he has made over the last few years, to progress from Rising Star to the reserve berth, to number two. That is where you want your career to go, and it is great to see him progressing.

“Keynan has started the season well but a little spell at reserve should do him the world of good. I needed Adam to do a couple of meetings at number two, but he goes to number four now, and we will see how him and Danny get on as a partnership.”

LEICESTER: 1. Max Fricke 8.84 (c) 2. Richard Lawson 6.67 3. Sam Masters 6.96 4. Luke Becker 6.95 5. Ryan Douglas 7.10 6. Drew Kemp 4.22 7. Joe Thompson (RS). Team Manager: Stewart Dickson

IPSWICH: 1. Emil Sayfutdinov 10.22 2. Jordan Jenkins 4.37 3. Danny King 7.28 (c) 4. Adam Ellis 5.67 5. Jason Doyle 9.12 6. Keynan Rew 4.00 7. Dan Thompson (RS). Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins