GRAND Prix star Maciej Janowski has been ruled out of the Darcy Ward Invitational due to a collarbone injury – with Krzysztof Kasprzak taking his place.

Former Pirates skipper Janowski suffered the setback while riding a motocross bike in Italy last month and subsequently underwent surgery.

The 25-year-old Pole had hoped to spend just two weeks on the sidelines. However, he has now reluctantly pulled out of Ward’s meeting on Friday, March 24 – the first racing of the year at Wimborne Road.

And Kasprzak, Poole's number one for the upcoming season, has agreed to fill in.

Janowski proved a popular figure among Pirates fans after joining the club on a full transfer from Swindon in December 2012, as part of the deal which saw Jason Doyle move in the opposite direction.

Making an immediate impact, Janowski was a key cog in the team which won three straight top-flight crowns, the club's feat unmatched in the Elite League era.

Darcy Ward Invitational field: 1 Hans Andersen 2 Davey Watt 3 Todd Kurtz, 4 Josh Grajczonek, 5 Kyle Newman, 6 Emil Sayfutdinov, 7 Troy Batchelor, 8 Przemek Pawlicki, 9 Nicolai Klindt, 10 Piotr Pawlicki, 11 Jason Doyle, 12 Rory Schlein, 13 Krzysztof Kasprzak, 14 Nick Morris, 15 Chris Holder 16 Brady Kurtz.