Champions face Bears' height test

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The champions Leicester Riders, emphatically unseated by Birmingham Bullets in the season's opener on Thursday, face another examination of their lack of height tonight when Nick Nurse brings his new team, Brighton Bears, to Loughborough University as the north and south conference schedules get into full swing.

Nurse led London Towers to the southern conference title last season, and this week bought into part ownership and became general manager of the Bears, who finished bottom. Amongst his recruits has been the 6ft 7in Sterling Davis to add to a front line of 6ft 9in Wilbur Johnson and 6ft 8in Dave Wahl.

The Riders' coach Billy Mims lost crucial inches when the 6ft 7in Donnie Johnson decided to remain with his family in Alabama following the terrorist attacks on New York, leaving the 6ft 8in Billy Singleton an isolated figure under the boards.

Towers open tonight against Edinburgh Rocks, while Edinburgh visit the defending northern champions Sheffield Sharks tomorrow.