Boden shuffles his cards for Ayr cup challenge

17/01/2014

With new Head Coach Harvey Biljon set to take control of the Jersey squad next week, there is a chance for the man in interim charge to sign off with a victory this weekend.

Steve Boden will revert to his permanent role of Forwards Coach on Monday as Biljon steps into the hot seat after an intensive two-week recce, but before then Boden and his players will be looking to complete this season's British & Irish Cup campaign with victory over Ayr.

The team from Scotland's West Coast were beaten 28-16 by Jersey at St Peter in October's opening round of the B&I, but since then both sides have struggled, registering just one win apiece in their subsequent Cup outings.

Neither side can qualify for the knock-out stages, but Jersey will want to cement second spot in pool 6 and keep up the momentum achieved by success over Ulster Ravens last weekend (37-19). The Islanders begin a crucial phase of their Greene King IPA Championship campaign at home to Rotherham on Saturday 25th January.

For the game in Ayr, Jersey's longest-ever journey for a competitive fixture, Boden has shuffled his pack, and his back-line. Some regular players, such as prop Dave Young, flanker Latu Makaafi, lock and captain Alex Rae and fly-half Niall O'Connor, are rested, giving opportunities to others.

Mccrea

Rae's role as captain passes to former Ulster and Connacht centre Mark McCrea (pictured above by Sue Trower), while the fly-half shirt is taken by Joel Dudley, who has played most of his rugby at scrum-half. Young Jack Burroughs misses out through illness, with James Copsey stepping in at full-back, and there is a welcome return for winger Ed Dawson after an ankle injury.

In the forwards, Nick Selway starts at tight-head, Nick Campbell will take on his former club in tandem with Rob Anderson in the second-row, and James Voss gets a chance at blind-side.

Jersey's bench includes the return of prop Jon Brennan and a first selection for JRFC Academy graduate Matt Michel - the 18-year-old, who plays both scrum-half and wing, has impressed in recent outings for Jersey's Colts XV and will be hoping to get his chance to make an impact.

The match at Millbrae kicks off at 2pm on Saturday. A full preview can be found HERE and there'll be live commentary on BBC Radio Jersey.

Jersey squad v Ayr (A) Saturday January 18th 2014, k-o 2pm

Backs (15-9)

James Copsey
Grant Pointer
Drew Locke
Mark McCrea
Ed Dawson
Joel Dudley
Nicky Griffiths

Forwards (1-8)

Sean McCarthy
David Felton
Nick Selway
Rob Anderson
Nick Campbell
James Voss
Joe Buckle
Tom Brown

Replacements

Elvis Taione, Jon Brennan, Dave Markham, Fred Silcock, Jimmy Williams, Mark Foster, Matt Michel.

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