DANNY Ford admits Poole Pirates' class of 2022 could have had a very different look to it, were it not for the late availability of Richard Lawson.

Lawson was the final member of Pirates' septet to be announced, in the final week of January.

The 36-year-old did look set to compete for Plymouth Gladiators, but opted for a late change of heart, instead making himself available to Poole.

Ford quickly swooped for his services, making him a Poole asset and adding him alongside Danny King and Steve Worrall to form a powerhouse heat leader trio, with Lawson replacing the retiring Rory Schlein.

This year's team also includes brothers Ben and Zach Cook, Drew Kemp and Nathan Ablitt.

The side were officially unveiled at today's annual press and practice at Poole Stadium, although Lawson was absent due to illness.

Discussing the challenge of building a septet for 2022, promoter Ford explained: "We kind of knew the direction we were moving in with the team quite early on.

"We signed Danny and Stevie quite early. Unfortunately their averages continue to rise and rise, which made it a very tough team to build.

"But I think what we have achieved with this team is the best we could’ve hoped for.

"It is very competitive and hopefully will be another one to challenge silverware."

He added: "We were always going to build the team around Steve and Danny, they were absolutely sensational last year.

"So it wasn’t easy, there were many iterations of the team we put together.

"A week before we announced Lawson, the team was looking incredibly different and then Lawson became available and that massively changed the dynamic.

"Once we got that in place, the rest of it kind of fell.

"We worked around these three heat leaders, gives us a really strong top end, much like we had last year, and I think you’ve got a good mix of youth and experience."