City speedway duo face UK court

TWO Ipswich motorcycle speedway stars have been arrested and charged in England after a 17-year-old girl claimed the pair sexually assaulted her in a hotel room.

Nick Morris, 17, formerly of Camira, and Darcy Ward, 19, from Brassall, were due to appear in court in Britain yesterday after the English teenager from Coventry made a complaint to police.

It is alleged the riders assaulted the girl in a room at the Premier Inn in the seaside town of Poole on England's south coast.

Ward and Poole had earlier been involved in a speedway event in the town on the night of the alleged incident in August.

Morris has been charged with three counts of sexual assault while Ward, the 2009 and 2010 under-21 World Champion, will face one count of sexual assault.

Both riders relocated to Britain in recent years after honing their riding skills in the Ipswich region.

Morris secured his first professional contract, with the Glasgow Tigers, as a 15-year-old after impressing overseas scouts during a six-week stint in the UK in 2009.

A spokesperson for the Glasgow Tigers said "we are aware of the forthcoming legal case against Nick Morris and one other Elite League rider".

"We will allow the legal system to deal with this matter and should he still be a Glasgow rider in 2012 then we will continue to offer him all the support and guidance necessary to allow him to move on with his career and his life."

Ward, whose father Bryan also raced motorcycle speedway, was a junior sensation in Australian speedway ranks before taking up his first professional contract in the UK.

Ward currently rides professionally for the Poole Pirates.

The riders were due to appear before a magistrate in Bournemouth, England yesterday.

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