PIRATES have signed Ben Hopwood on a month-long contract to fill the number seven berth left by the axed Lee Smart.

Stoke rider Hopwood, 23, guested for Poole in their 53-40 win over Belle Vue on Wednesday, scoring four points.

Wimborne Road chief Matt Ford said: "If Ben holds his own then we will look to extend his contract.

"While we don't expect him to rack up match-winning scores, the contributions from reserves are crucial to a team's success.

"Provided Ben can perform well against his peers in the fast track scheme then he will have done his job and we can't expect any more."

Pirates had originally attempted to sign Benji Compton but a broken scaphoid scuppered the Kent man's chances of a deal on the south coast.

Ford subsequently issued his intention to go back in for Compton at a later date.

Meanwhile, Poole reserve Kyle Newman looks set to make his comeback in Wednesday's home meeting against Lakeside.

Newman has been struggling with a ruptured thigh muscle and was in significant pain when he featured against Birmingham nine days ago.

The 22-year-old sustained the injury in a Premier League Cup match at Peterborough on April 15.