Jersey 1st XV v Guernsey - Siam Cup02/05/2013
'Tough acts' prepare to take to St Peter stage for final bow
Flanker Graham Bell and stalwart scrum-half Dave McCormack (below) are among a number of players who are set to make their final appearance for Jersey in Saturday's Siam Cup.
Jersey have announced a blend of youth and experience in their line-up for the annual encounter with Guernsey.
Director of Rugby Ben Harvey confirmed that there would be little scope for part-time players to be involved in Jersey's Championship campaign next season, meaning that a number of part-time players won't be part of the core 1st XV squad in 2013/14.
This means that the Siam Cup may be a last hurrah for Bell, the 32-year-old back row man who came to Jersey in 2008 from his native Scotland and will captain the Island side on Saturday, and McCormack, 33, who has been Jersey's Rugby Development Officer since 2009 and will bring down the curtain on a 13-year career of national league rugby.
"Graham and 'Macca' will be very tough acts to follow, they have been the heart-beat of the club over recent seasons and instrumental in getting Jersey RFC to where we are today," Harvey said. "Their leadership has been fantastic, and the whole Island will want to see them go out on a high."
Among others who are no longer likely to be involved at 1st XV level next season, the following have been selected for the Jersey squad:
- Ashley Maggs, centre/wing, aged 26, who came to Jersey in 2008
- Brendan O'Brien, scrum-half, aged 30 (five seasons)
- Eoghan Nihill, flanker, aged 30 (two seasons)
- Talite Vaioleti, lock/back row, aged 32, who re-joined Jersey last summer after two seasons on the Island from 2008-10
Former captain Paul Rodgers, 29, who misses the Siam Cup through injury, is another part-time player unlikely to be involved next season after five seasons at St Peter, along with fly-half Ross Broadfoot (28, and a Jersey player since 2011), who advised the club he did not wish to play 1st XV rugby in 2013/14.
"There are a number of fantastic servants of the club who will be missing next season as we move towards becoming a full-time professional squad, which we know is what will be required in order to compete more effectively in our second season in the Championship," stated Harvey. "These people played a key role in putting Jersey RFC on the map and we are enormously grateful for their efforts.
"Many of our part-time players have their own careers and I hope they'll continue to be involved in rugby in some capacity, and that supporters will give them a fitting send-off in their final game this weekend."
The Siam Cup squad also includes three players who are leaving the Island: Nathan Hannay and Michael Le Bourgeois will be switching to new roles at Leeds Carnegie and Bedford Blues respectively, while teenage winger Chris Levesley is to study at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire, where Harvey hopes he will continue to develop his rugby talent.
Jersey's bench will feature the exciting talent of Jack Burroughs, 19, who is set to make his 1st XV debut after some impressive outings for the Island's Colts side.
Jersey squad, sponsored by Locate Jersey & jersey.com
1. Myles Landick
2. David Felton
3. John Brennan
4. Nathan Hannay
5. Dave Markham
6. Graham Bell (capt)
7. Kingsley Lang
8. Talite Vaioleti
9. Dave McCormack
10. Michael Le Bourgeois
11. Ed Dawson
12. Ashley Maggs
13. Donovan Sanders
14. Chris Levesley
15. Glenn Bryce