SWINDON Robins owner Terry Russell has not given up hope of seeing world champion Jason Doyle back in the club’s colours in the future.

Last month, the Swindon hierarchy took the painstaking decision not retain the services of the man who captained the team to the SGB Premiership title this year.

Doyle has been a dominant figure as Robins number one over the past two seasons but new rules introduced for the coming campaign have forced the club’s hand.

In 2018, top-flight teams can only field one rider with an average of more than eight, with both Doyle and fellow Australian Nick Morris finishing the 2017 season boasting a figure higher than that.

It was youngster Morris who got the nod to come back to the Abbey Stadium for a seventh successive season next year, with Doyle let go despite a heroic campaign that also saw him claim a maiden world title.

However, the 32-year-old remains a Swindon asset and Russell therefore believes there is a possibility that Doyle could ride for Alun Rossiter’s side again down the line.

“With Jason, it is not the end. Let’s hope we see him back again,” said Russell.

“He is still one of our assets and there is always hope for the future. I think Jason feels the same. All he’s said on it is that he is sorry he won’t be back in 2018 and we all feel the same way.

“My thoughts are the same as everyone’s – it’s really disappointing but I’d have been equally disappointed not to see Nick come back. Whichever way we went, it was always going to be a difficult decision.

“Nick has been with us for a long time and has improved immensely and after a lot of soul searching and discussion with Rosco and both riders, a decision was made.

“If the rules weren’t placed on us that we could only have one rider with an average over eight, I could easily have seen us going into next season with both of them but a decision had to be made.

“It is not our fault that a rule has been made that penalises us in such a way. If this rule wasn’t made, we wouldn’t have had to go down this road at all, we have been forced into.”

Alongside Morris, four further members of Swindon’s title-winning team have also agreed deals to ride again for the club in 2018.

Tobiasz Musielak, David Bellego, Adam Ellis and Zach Wajtknecht will all be returning next year, with team manager Rossiter currently working on filling the final two spots in his septet.