CO-PROMOTER Danny Ford said the experience of new recruit Ricky Wells would be “massively valuable” to Pirates.

The reigning SGB Premiership champions have opted to make their first team change of the 2019 campaign – drafting in the American at reserve in place of the outgoing Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen.

Wells started this season in the main body of the septet at Belle Vue before being replaced by the Manchester outfit.

He is set to ride at number seven for Pirates after coming in on a 4.22 average. Poole tomorrow host Ipswich at Wimborne Road (7.30pm).

Ford told the Daily Echo: “Coming in at this stage of the season, Ricky’s experience is going to be massively valuable to us.

“He will definitely have a point to prove. He came in for Belle Vue and dropped down to reserve – it just wasn’t working for him at Belle Vue.

“The track is massive and in the US they ride on tiny tracks – the American riders are usually good on the more technical tracks and he has shown that in his guest appearances for us. Hopefully he can continue to do that.”

Wells has totalled 9+1 and 10 in guest appearances for Pirates this season – he did draw one blank after having to withdraw through injury at King’s Lynn.

But putting faith in the 27-year-old, who also doubles up with Championship Edinburgh, was a decision Ford felt had to be made.

“We are massively thankful to Nikolaj but we just needed to bring someone in with a little more experience and a little more track craft, so we are drafting in Ricky,“ he added.

“It’s never nice telling someone you have to make a change. We are thankful to Nikolaj and what he had done this season, unfortunately things just didn’t work out for him.

“It has been tough but the club has to come first. You have to make the tough decisions and it’s a ruthless sport.

“Everyone else has already made changes and it was about time we strengthened our one-to-seven, I think this will be doing that. We just felt there was something a little bit lacking down at reserve.”

Pirates will again be without the injured Brady Kurtz and Richie Worrall for their clash against the Witches, who they stunned with a 48-42 victory last week at Foxhall.

Ben Barker is set to guest in place of Worrall, with Pirates running rider replacement in place of number one Kurtz.

Nico Covatti is set to return after recovering from a rib injury.