What the Fork Monarchs face a big test on Friday when the 2019 league winners, Leicester Lions, visit Armadale (tapes-up 7.30 on Friday) and the in-form Midlands combine have been hitting huge scores on their own track against everyone.

Leicester have roared to the top of the 11-strong SGB Championship table with 19 points from nine matches but Glasgow Tigers are breathing down their necks with the same points from two fewer fixtures.

Monarchs, of course, have already lost at home to Glasgow and need for a good result on Friday as they are ninth in the table with four points from the same number of matches.

The home side have been boosted by the return of Cumbria-based James Sarjeant after the successful arrival of his second child which caused him to miss the away match at Glasgow, and therefore Monarchs are at full-strength.

Much the same can be said for Leicester although they will be fielding Kyle Bickley as a reserve guest replacing Anders Rowe, who has been suffering with ill health.

There will be a familiar faces in the visiting pits as Lions have Monarch of 2021 Richie Worrall at No 1 and Kyle Howarth.

However, Monarchs’ Australian reserve Jacob Hook (pictured by Nigel Duncan) has been impressing the club’s bosses with his approach and he admitted that improved gating will be necessary.

He said: “All the boys have been fast when we have been on it, but last time against Glasgow we were just a bit off and were missing the starts and that’s where Glasgow beat us.

“We were faster than them on track but but you can’t give guys like that a start as you won’t get past. So, we need to get back to getting out the start against Leicester who are a good team.”

Friday’s match will be live streamed. Details on www.edinburghmonarchs.co.uk

WTF MONARCHS: Sam Masters (capt), Lasse Fredriksen, Paco Castagna, Kye Thomson, Josh Pickering, Jacob Hook, James Sarjeant.

WATLING JCB LIONS: Richie Worrall, Dan Thompson, Nick Morris, Connor Mountain, Kyle Howarth (capt), Kyle Bickley (guest), Joe Thompson.