DARCY Ward has been ruled out of tomorrow's Elite League Grand Final second leg after sustaining a head injury in a fight outside a Dorset pub.
Pirates boss Neil Middleditch today reported that Poole's number one rider had undergone a brain scan after being hospitalised following the incident in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Ward, who missed last night's Elite League Riders' Championship at Swindon, suffered a "bleed on his brain" confirmed Middleditch.
The 20-year-old will now be replaced by guest Niels Kristian Iversen when Pirates defend their title against Swindon Robins at Wimborne Road.
Poole team manager Middleditch initially tweeted: "Darcy was beaten up by some mindless moron. Being treated in hospital. It was an unprovoked attack. Tweet when I know more."
Speaking to the Daily Echo this morning, Middleditch said he, Ward and a number of Pirates people had attended a pub following the postponement of the grand final second leg on Friday.
Middleditch claimed Ward was “attacked” and reported he was still in hospital. Pirates promoter Ford later told the Echo the Australian was due to be discharged from hospital tomorrow morning.
Middleditch said: “We had gone down to a pub. There was me, Matt, his partner, my wife Suzi, Chris (Holder) and Sealy (Middleton, Holder’s girlfriend). We all went to leave and the next thing we heard Darcy had been attacked.
“I wasn’t there but he was taken to hospital, he has had a brain scan and I am going down to see him this afternoon, so I will know more this afternoon.”
Police confirmed this morning that they were called to a fight outside the Churchill Arms in Sturminster Marshall at 1.20am on Saturday.
A spokesman said injuries were minor and no complaints had been made.
Iversen will stand in for Ward in the second leg clash against Swindon and he has also been put on standby for Pirates' Knockout Cup fixtures next week.
Meanwhile, Pirates' newly-crowned world champion Holder added another trophy to his cabinet after storming to victory in the riders' championship at Blunsdon.