ALUN Rossiter has been dealt a major blow ahead of the Speedway of Nations Finals later this month after reigning world champion Tai Woffinden was ruled out with injury.

GB captain Woffinden is sidelined with a fractured TH4 vertebra and broken shoulder blade for the event in Togliatti, Russia, on July 20-21.

That means Rossiter, who is also team manager of Swindon Robins in the SGB Premiership, will have to re-jig the side that won Race-Off 2 in Manchester back on May 11.

Former Grand Prix regular Chris Harris will step in for Woffinden, joining stand-in skipper Craig Cook and U21 racer Robert Lambert in a side bidding to build on the silver medal they clinched in Poland last year.

The Robins will also have on-track representation at the competition in Russia as Jason Doyle has been drafted into the Australian side.

The Swindon skipper, and 2017 world champion, returns in place of Chris Holder after sitting out Race-Off 2 due to injury. Max Fricke partners Doyle, with national U21 champion Jaimon Lidsey named as their junior.

Defending world champions Russia named an unchanged team for their title defence.

Individual world championship joint-leader Emil Sayfutdinov, Artem Laguta and U21 rider Gleb Chugunov will bid to win back-to-back titles in front of a passionate home crowd in the biggest shale meeting ever staged in Russia.

Poland welcome back Maciej Janowski after he was forced out of Race-Off 1 in Landshut on May 4 after suffering shoulder ligament damage in a crash 24 hours before the German showdown.

He takes Patryk Dudek’s place in the side, partnering Bartosz Zmarzlik and former World U21 champion Maksym Drabik.

Sweden name an unchanged team following their Race-Off 1 triumph, with Fredrik Lindgren partnering Peter Ljung and U21 Filip Hjelmland.

Denmark also track the same three stars who battled their way through Race-Off 2 as 2019 world championship co-leader Leon Madsen links up with seven-time national champion Niels-Kristian Iversen and U21 rider Frederik Jakobsen.

Germany complete the Finals field, with Erik Riss replacing Martin Smolinski.

Kai Huckenbeck serves as captain and Lukas Fienhage selected as their U21 rider.

The seven sides will compete over 42 heats in the Speedway of Nations Finals – 21 each on Saturday and Sunday.

The top scorers progress automatically to the Grand Final, with the second and third-placed countries competing in the semi-final for the right to race the leaders for the world title.

Should the semi-final end as a 3-3 draw, the team that scored the most points over 42 heats will progress to the Grand Final.

If the Grand Final ends all-square, a run-off featuring one rider from each team will decide the world title.