ALUN Rossiter doesn’t expect Tai Woffinden’s Speedway of Nations final absence to hinder team Great Britain’s chances of securing a podium finish in Togliatti, Russia, this weekend.

World Champion Woffinden ruled himself out of competing in the world championship final earlier this month following a crash in Lublin while racing for Polish team Wroclaw.

The 28-year-old broke his Th4 bone – positioned halfway down the spinal column – and his shoulder blade when tangling with Grigory Laguta back in June.

Woffinden scored a sensational 35 points out of 36 in last year’s Speedway of Nations final in Wroclaw as GB were denied gold in the competition’s grand final against Russia.

In Woffinden's absence, three-times British Champion Chris Harris has been called up by GB boss Rossiter – who will once against face Australia, Poland, Denmark, Germany, Russia and Sweden in the competition’s final.

Rossiter said: “Of course it’s going to be tough without Tai (Woffinden).

“He’s the world champion, and he is Great Britain’s number one. But we can’t cry about it, this happens in speedway.

“We’ve got three riders in Robert Lambert, Craig Cook and Chris Harris – all of those three are capable of mixing it with the best on their day.

“Hopefully Tai will be fit soon, but I’m sure he’s not too worried about this year. He’s at that age where he might not want to take chances and risk getting injured again after just coming back.

“The longer you leave things, the better you will heal.

“Knowing Tai as I do, he will have the right people around him advising him in the right way.”

Harris’ late call-up to the GB squad left the Coventry-based racer with just days to build two bikes from scratch ahead of tonight’s final first leg.

Rossiter has since praised the Ipswich Witches heat leader’s professionalism, and has called on some of Britain’s younger riders to learn from the 36-year-old’s approach to off-track business.

“Chris has just cracked on with it, as usual,” said Rossiter.

“When you deal with Chris, he is professional and everything gets done.

“A few of the youngsters could learn from Chris, and how to manage bits and bobs.”

In addition, Rossiter explained his reasoning behind leaving youngster Dan Bewley out of the GB squad.

He added: “People have moaned and said I should’ve chosen the younger rider.

“But when you’re replacing Tai Woffinden, you need a rider that will get stuck in.

“If we had to take Dan Bewley, fine. But I don’t think this is a meeting where we should be throwing youngsters in – especially after his injury at the end of last year.

“I think we’ll see a better Dan Bewley next year, and I’m comfortable with my decision.

“Dan has done very well coming back from the injuries he sustained, and he is now showing glimpses of the form he displayed last year.

“But Robert, Craig and Chris are the three riders that I know can do it.”