POOLE Pirates star Sam Hagon has made the final cut for Great Britain’s Speedway of Nations 2 line-up.

Hagon was part of an initial five-man squad for this week’s event in Manchester.

And the 19-year-old has made the final cut, with the group now whittled down to a top three.

The team event is for riders aged 21 or under.

Great Britain will be captained by Leon Flint, who rides for Birmingham Brummies and Glasgow Tigers.

Dan Thompson is also in the trio, alongside Poole’s Hagon, who also rides in the Premiership for Leicester Lions and Belle Vue Aces in the National League.

In-form Hagon was recently crowned British Under-21 champion.

Speedway of Nations 2 takes place on Friday, with GB among eight nations competing, Poland having won every year since 2014.

Discussing the decision to select Hagon, with Ashton Boughen and former Pirate Joe Thompson both missing out on the final cut, team boss Neil Vatcher told the No Brakes, No Fear podcast: “Sam’s probably surprised everyone this year.

“He has definitely stepped up a level. British Under-21 champion, got called up to the Leicester team in the Premiership and has scored good points everywhere that he’s gone.

“The Manchester track being his home track in the National League, he’s obviously confident around there as well.

“We always know he’s going to turn up with good equipment.

“I feel, on this occasion, it’s the best three we can go with. Perhaps Ashton will be disappointed, of course, but his time will come.”

Vatcher added: “With Leon Flint and Dan and Sam, I think the Great Britain team hopefully will be solid.

“I think our team has got a solid pair and that will benefit us, being a team event, and we can fight until the end.”

Hagon won the National League Riders' Championship last monthHagon won the National League Riders' Championship last month (Image: Richard Crease)

Speaking before the five-man squad had been whittled down to three, Pirates promoter Danny Ford told the Daily Echo: “Sam in particular, I’d really hope to see him in the Speedway of Nations 2 squad.

“The season he’s having, being British Under-21 champion and picking up other individual honours. I think he’s probably one of the most improved riders in British speedway.

“I’d love to see him in the Speedway of Nations 2 squad, but I don’t make that decision obviously.”

Hagon’s Poole teammate Tom Brennan is also hoping to compete in Manchester this week, in the main Speedway of Nations event.

As hosts, GB have received a pass straight through to Saturday’s final, meaning they are yet to declare their three-man team.

Brennan was part of the initial five-man group. It was widely assumed the three who would be selected were Grand Prix trio Dan Bewley, Tai Woffinden and Robert Lambert.

However, an injury to Woffinden means either Brennan or Adam Ellis will instead take the final spot.

Ford said: “Woffy’s injury may have opened the door for Tom.

“Under unfortunate circumstances, but that’s the nature of speedway.

“I know that Tom is ultra professional and he’d love to be involved with that.

“So fingers crossed he gets the opportunity.”