SOMERSET Rebels will kick off the 2016 season with a home challenge match against Swindon on Friday, March 18, after a season-opening press and practice day.

The Rebels host Plymouth in another Challenge match the following week (March 25), before travelling south for the return fixture the next day.

They kick off their League Cup campaign on March 28 with a trip to Rye House and welcome the Rockets to the Oaktree Arena on April 1.

Somerset Rebel's rider, Bradley Wilson-Dean, finished in second place in the New Zealand Speedway Championship held in Rosebank, Auckland on Sunday.

Wilson-Dean, who will be the first New Zealander to ride for the Rebels, qualified through for the grand final of the Championship, but a bad start in that final saw him, initially at least, at the back of the field.

Undeterred, he picked his way through move into second place but was unable to find a way past race-leader Jason Bunyan who held on for the win, and with it the Championship crown.

Speaking afterwards, Wilson-Dean said: "The track was very slick and dusty, but no excuses, and overall I'm happy enough with my second place.

"I felt really good on the bike though and can't wait for the UK season with Somerset to start, I'm sure that we're going to have a good one."