SWINDON Robins’ will make a one-off return to action in March as the club renews its rivalry with neighbours Oxford Cheetahs in a pre-season challenge fixture at Oxford Stadium.

A Robins Select team – featuring Jason Doyle, plus a handful of other names from the club’s 2019 double-winning side – will face off against Oxford at the Cowley venue to mark the beginning of the new speedway season on Wednesday, March 29 at 7.30pm.

The Wiltshire club has been absent from the shale for almost four years, with the COVID-19 pandemic prompting the club’s unforeseen closure months after it landed a historic Premiership and Supporters’ Cup double in 2019.

By contrast, Cheetahs completed an extraordinary return to competitive racing in 2022 as part of Oxford Stadium’s major regeneration project which saw the sport reborn in the city 15 years after it was seemingly lost forever.

Oxford will be led by new number one and 2017 Australian Champion Sam Masters, with club captain and seven-time British Champion Scott Nicholls also set to line up. They will be joined by new recruit Lewis Kerr, plus Cameron Heeps, Jordan Jenkins, Henry Atkins, and Luke Killeen.

While efforts to revive the Robins at an alternative venue continue, Swindon Robins Select will be led by the club’s long-standing team manager and former rider, Alun Rossiter.

He hopes to see a positive turnout in support of the club’s future and has vowed to piece together a team capable of putting on a show.

“I visited Oxford several times last season and was very impressed by the new setup,” said Rossiter.

“Times are tough right now for Swindon supporters, but we’ve got to keep the faith, and this challenge fixture ensures we can keep the club’s name alive.

“There have been some fantastic fixtures between the Cheetahs and Robins over the years, and we’re excited to add to this when both teams meet again in March.”

Oxford Speedway promoter Jamie Courtney said renewing the legendary A420 derby was high on his agenda during the off-season.

“Like everyone connected to the sport, we were sad to learn of speedway’s permanent closure at the Abbey Stadium last year,” said Courtney. “I truly believe a future can exist for the Robins.

“But keeping the name prominent in the public eye is key if aspirations for the club to return to racing permanently are to be realised.

“Naturally we are delighted to help facilitate their return, even if it is only for one night. Both teams hold a historic rivalry, and we hope this fixture will generate a fantastic, fun, and family friendly atmosphere on race night to start the year with a bang.

Oxford say ticket information will be released soon.