Bath - and 'Banners' - heading to Jersey01/05/2014
Jersey will lock horns with Aviva Premiership side Bath in August as part of the clubs' preparations for next season.
The match at St Peter will take place on Saturday August 23rd, giving Jersey fans the chance to see their team take on the club who currently sit third in the Premiership and have progressed to the final of the Amlin European Challenge Cup.
Home supporters will hope to get a first-hand look at many of the star names in Bath's ranks, including internationals such as England caps George Ford, David Wilson, and Rob Webber, plus Gavin Henson and Paul James (Wales), Peter Stringer (Ireland) Horacio Agulla (Argentina) and Francois Louw (South Africa).
Probably the most enticing prospect is the potential return of 'Banners' - Matt Banahan has won 16 England caps since joining Bath eight years ago and will be playing at St Peter for the first time since leaving his native Island as a teenager.
"I'm really excited that we can confirm the visit by Bath as the centre-piece of our pre-season fixtures," said Jersey Chairman Bill Dempsey. "Having secured our place in next season's Championship, we will be looking to get off to a good start, and testing ourselves against a top side like Bath should prove excellent preparation.
"We'll be looking forward to seeing Matt Banahan run out at St Peter. When he left the Island it didn't seem realistic that he might return with his Premiership team-mates to take on Jersey, so it'll be a memorable occasion when the day comes."
The pre-season challenge match will be sponsored by EFG Wealth Solutions, who also sponsor another of Bath's internationals, England lock Dave Attwood. Christian Büsel, Head of Private Banking at EFG in the Channel Islands said: "We are delighted to be involved in bringing such a prestigious club as Bath to Jersey. It promises to be a great game of rugby - a not-to-be-missed opportunity for rugby fans in Jersey to see some great international players performing on a local stage"
Details of the kick-off time, ticket prices and sponsorship opportunities for Jersey v Bath will be announced shortly. There are also provisional plans to host the touring players, plus supporters of both clubs, at a Friday night barbecue at JRFC.
Jersey will have two other pre-season games at St Peter. Ayr RFC, who Jersey faced twice in this season's British & Irish Cup, will be coming to the Island for the opening match of the season on Saturday August 16th, while on Saturday August 30th Jersey will take on the oldest rugby club in England - Blackheath were founded in 1858 and met the Islanders twice in National League One in 2011/12.
Dempsey added: "We are currently finalising our 1st XV squad for
next season and expect to confirm these details next week. This
trio of home games will offer an exciting and testing mix of
opposition to our squad as they get ready for the new season, and
it's great that our supporters will be able to see these matches on