New boys Poole Pirates will be Edinburgh Monarchs opponents in the first round of the Championship KO Cup.

Berwick Bandits have been drawn with Leicester Lions, last season’s league and play-off winners and success-hungry Glasgow Tigers are paired with Somerset Rebels.

ROUND 1: Poole v Edinburgh, Leicester v Berwick, Birmingham v Redcar, Somerset v Glasgow. Byes: Eastbourne, Kent, Newcastle, Scunthorpe.

QUARTER-FINAL: Scunthorpe v Kent, Birmingham/Redcar v Poole/Edinburgh, Somerset/Glasgow v Leicester/Berwick, Eastbourne v Newcastle.

Meanwhile, Newcastle Diamonds have confirmed they will race in the Championship next season under the new ownership of former rider Rob Grant Jnr.

Grant is an experienced figure at Brough Park with involvement in greyhound operations there, and he has confirmed George English is set to continue as co-promoter and team manager.

Former Stoke chief Dave Tattum is also on board and Grant said: “From my outlook it seemed the future for the Diamonds was looking really bleak, so it didn’t take long for me to think it through and make a move to take the reins myself.”