Skipper returns for final pre-season clash

29/08/2014

Jersey captain Alex Rae and second row colleague Nick Campbell are both back in the Islanders' line-up for the final pre-season match of 2014/15. Jersey face Blackheath at St Peter on Saturday, starting at 4pm.

Nick C Try

Both lock forwards have recovered from injury niggles in order to take their place in the starting line-up, and are among four players set to play their first rugby of the new season. The others are Grant Pointer, who is named at right wing, and back row man Joe Buckle, who is among the replacements.

South African Jason Thomas will make his first appearance in his preferred position of hooker after a short cameo appearance as a back row replacement against Bath last weekend.

Jersey Head Coach Harvey Biljon, a former Player-Coach with Blackheath, said he was pleased with his squad's pre-season efforts to date: a 10-34 defeat to Aviva Premiership side Bath, preceded by a 43-0 win over Scottish club Ayr.

"It's all about getting the players ready for our first league match at Moseley next weekend," he said. "I've been aiming to give all members of the squad game time and try out different combinations.

"It's great to have Alex, Nick, Grant and Joe back in the picture, especially the captain, and I know that they'll be working really hard to make my job very difficult when the 22 players for Moseley have to be chosen next week."

Jersey played against Biljon's former club, the oldest in England having been formed in 1858, twice in National Division One in 2011/12, winning 23-27 at Rectory Field in south-east London and completing the double with a 32-5 victory at St Peter. Jersey finished the season as National One champions, while the Londoners were third in the table.

The Island's amateur 2nd XV, Jersey Athletic, will also be in action at St Peter, taking on Blackheath Heathens at 12noon.

JRFC 1st XV vs Blackheath
1. Sam Lockwood
2. Jason Thomas
3. Harry Williams
4. Nick Campbell
5. Alex Rae (capt)
6. Michael Noone
7. Ryan Hodson
8. Paula Kaho
9. Ryan Glynn
10. Jonny Bentley
11. Jack Burroughs
12. Lewis Robling
13. Drew Locke
14. Grant Pointer
15. Tommy Bell

Replacements - Forwards
16. Ignacio Lancuba
17. Gareth Harris
18. Danny Herriot
19. Pierce Phillips
20. Ben Maidment
21. Joe Buckle
22. Dave Markham

Backs
23. Joel Dudley
24. Aaron Penberthy
25. Mark McCrea
26. Dai Bishop
27. Mark Foster

Jersey's first league match at St Peter will be when Doncaster Knights visit the Island on Saturday September 13th.

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