POOLE Pirates have been rocked by the news that Rory Schlein has tested positive for COVID-19.

Pirates' number one will now enter a period of self-isolation for the next 10 days.

That means the Aussie will miss tonight's trip to Scunthorpe Scorpions and also next Saturday's Knockout Cup semi-final first leg at Leicester Lions.

Schlein is the second of Pirates' septet to test positive for coronavirus this season, with Benjamin Basso also struck down last month.

Discussing Schlein's condition, Pirates promoter Danny Ford told the Daily Echo: "He said he feels a little bit groggy, but him, his wife and his boys have all got it.

"So everyone in their household has got it unfortunately. He’s a bit frustrated."

Asked if Schlein's positive test affects the rest of the Pirates team, having all been in the pits with him for Wednesday evening's contest against Plymouth, Ford confirmed: "We’re testing within 48 hours of our fixtures. But Rory tests probably more regularly than that because his wife works in a hospital anyway.

"So everyone is testing quite regularly and it’s just one of those unfortunately.

"We’ve all tested already again since that news and we’re all clear."

It is understood six of Pirates' seven riders have been doubled vaccinated against the virus, but that status does not affect the league's isolation rules.

Poole are already a man down for tonight's trip to Scunthorpe, with Stefan Nielsen out injured.

Dan Gilkes is set to step in as a guest at reserve, while Pirates will run rider replacement for Schlein.

"It feels like there’s one hurdle after another," admitted Ford.

"Obviously just another thing to add in this long line of twists and turns we’re having this season. Overall it’s been pretty good, we’re top of the league, but these things are brought to challenge us and we’ll just take it step by step and overcome it.

"He (Schlein) misses this one and the first round of our KO Cup against Leicester, which is obviously not ideal, being a cup tie. Bit frustrating, but we’ll work around it."

Looking ahead to tonight's fixture against the Scorpions, who have impressed at Eddie Wright Raceway this season, Ford said: "A win tonight cements top spot for us, so we are hoping to secure that top spot in the league tonight, which will give us choice of teams going into the semi-finals.

"Losing your number one a few hours before that’s meant to happen is less than ideal, but I’ve got so much faith in this team that we can cover for Rory and it obviously hurts us, but I think we can still give Scunthorpe a run for their money."

Scunthorpe are also without two of their septet, missing the injured Jordan Palin and the absent Tero Aarnio, due to visa issues.

Pirates: Rider replacement for Rory Schlein, Benjamin Basso, Steve Worrall, Ben Cook, Danny King, Dan Gilkes (guest), Danyon Hume.

Scorpions: Adam Ellis, rider replacement for Jordan Palin, Theo Pijper, Kasper Andersen (guest), Thomas Jorgensen, Josh MacDonald, Simon Lambert.