Nine new deals as squad takes shape26/04/2013
Jersey RFC agrees new deals with key players
Local lads Ed Dawson and James Voss, plus top try-scorer Guy Thompson, are among a clutch of Jersey players to have signed new deals ahead of the 2013/14 season.
Director of Rugby Ben Harvey has agreed enhanced contracts with eight current squad members, and confirmed that a further nine players from the 2012/13 campaign will also be part of next season's personnel under their existing deals.
Lock forward Voss (above), who will be 19 in July, is a former Jersey Academy player who signed his first contract with the club on leaving school last summer and has now agreed a full-time deal, having appeared in nine 1st XV games this season.
23-year-old Dawson (below), who like Voss made his Jersey debut as a teenager, is rewarded for a consistent season in which he played 19 of the team's 22 league matches.
"In building for next year, many of this season's players will have a major role to play, and having Jersey youngsters like Ed and Vossy is an important part of this," Harvey said. "James showed from the start that he was able to hold his own in a very tough environment, while Ed has really grown in stature this season and become a mainstay in the team through his impressive displays."
Back row forward Thompson scored seven tries in 20 league appearances this season and was a constant menace to Jersey's opponents. The 26-year-old, who is the son of a Jerseyman and joined the Island side from Richmond in summer 2011, won a series of man-of-the-match nominations this season from media, sponsors and opposition coaching staff.
"Guy's been one of our stand-out players this season and I'm delighted that he's going to be back for more," added Harvey. "It's no surprise he attracted some interest from other clubs, so it's great news for Island rugby that he has committed to us."
The other players agreeing enhanced deals include two players who have captained Jersey during 2012/13, centre David Bishop and scrum-half Nicky Griffiths, plus loose-head prop Sean McCarthy and back row players Joe Buckle, who becomes a Jersey player after four months on loan from Bath, and Fred Silcock.
Other players from the current squad who are definitely being retained in 2012/13 are:
* Rob Anderson (lock)
* Tom Cooper (centre/ wing)
* Joel Dudley (scrum-half)
* David Felton (hooker)
* Myles Landick (prop)
* Dave Markham (lock)
* Mark McCrea (centre/ wing)
* Donovan Sanders (centre)
* Elvis Taione (hooker)
Harvey, who confirmed seven new signings earlier in the week, stressed that the final make-up of the squad was not confirmed, and urged supporters not to read too much into the absence of some names from today's announcements.
"I've spoken to all the players from this season's squad and in the great majority of cases it's been decided what they'll be doing for next season," he said. "But it's barely a week since our Championship status was confirmed, and inevitably there are a few cases where details remain to be finalised and it would be inappropriate to go public.
"Finalising the remaining players, including both existing squad
members and one or two more new faces, will be a priority for the
next week, although we must not lose sight of the fact that there's
an important match - the Siam Cup - to prepare for."
For queries, contact Tom Innes, JRFC Media Officer, 07829 959888 firstname.lastname@example.org