SWINDON Robins has announced that World Champion Jason Doyle will not be back in 2018, writes Phil Rice.

New regulations for next season mean that sides can only have one rider with an average in excess of eight points and unfortunately he and Nick Morris fall into this category.

From all the changes made at the recent Promoters Conference this rule has caused most concern. Frankly sides should be able to use whatever permutation they want within the 42.5 team aggregate rule.

Wolverhampton and Belle Vue also have two riders in excess of eight points and effectively it’s the three top teams in the league whose strengths are being watered down.

Many supporters will be disappointed to see Doyle go but it is an open secret that he was not the easiest rider to deal with and his behaviour in the pits was not as many would have liked and management at times struggled with him.

At times the Australian coasted when the side needed his big points. However there is no doubt that Doyle was in an injury-affected season absolutely focussed on taking the world crown after being so cruelly denied in 2016 by injury.

Many feel that with the monkey off his back he will be a changed man and more relaxed.

Additionally, he would have been expensive and Swindon doubtless need to contain costs as attendances were not as high as a title-winning team deserved.

Doyle said: “Thank you Swindon for the last two seasons captaining a great club! Sadly I won't be coming back for 2018. Good luck.”

Elsewhere Swindon has increased its asset base by signing Adam Ellis and Zach Wajtknecht to join the Robins’ asset base from Lakeside.

Ellis visibly struggled early in the season but came good as the year progressed whilst Saltford-based Wajtknecht suffered injury ahead of the play offs and his absence certainly added to the drama during the run in to the title.

Rossiter said: “This is a really positive move for us and it’s a further exciting investment into our asset base after the moves we made last season.”

“Obviously at the moment we can’t say for sure that Adam and Zach will definitely be in our team next year because we have to sort out what’s going on at the top-end first. But it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that obviously I would like to include both of them if at all possible.

"We brought Adam in on a high average last season and we stuck with him after he had a tough start. There was a lot of pressure to make a change but I had belief in him, I’ve also worked with him at GB level, and he came good for us at some crucial times.”

Hopefully both will be back in the side in 2018 along with Morris, David Bellego and Tobiasz Musielak but it’s too early to say just yet.

Whether Bradley Wilson-Dean will return is probably in the air as manager Alun Rossiter looks at the permutations available to him.