Somerset have given their fans the ultimate Christmas present after bringing Jason Doyle back to Highbridge as world champion.
The Aussie icon raced for the Rebels at Premier League-level in 2008, 2012 and 2013 before going full-time in the top flight and establishing himself as one of the sport’s top riders, winning the FIM Speedway World Championship in Melbourne in October.
With Swindon releasing him from his contract, this cleared the way for Doyle to lead the Somerset charge in the Premiership, where he joins Jack Holder, Richard Lawson, Charles Wright, Jake Allen, Bradley Wilson-Dean and Jonas Jeppesen.
Despite rumours of a Rebels move for Chris Holder, there’s no place in the side for the Sydneysider.
But Doyle is delighted to be spearheading Rebels play-off push and insisted he always wanted to race in the UK.
He tweeted: “Very happy to announce I will be at Somerset Rebels for 2018! I wanted to race British speedway next season!! And no better way to do it than race with Somerset! See you all at the Oak Tree next season!!”
Doyle’s move represents arguably the biggest signing in the club’s history and boss Garry May insists the deal underlines Rebels’ ambition.
He said: “I think this was the signing all Somerset fans had hoped for, but perhaps never thought it would actually happen.
“But I know that Jason considers Somerset as his ‘home’ as far as speedway is concerned, and his signing is a statement of intent by the club for 2018.”