Jersey set for close battle with Knights18/09/2015
Jersey head to Yorkshire for the second time in the opening month of the Greene King IPA Championship season.
After an opening day defeat at Yorkshire Carnegie, the Islanders take on Doncaster Knights, a team against whom they have been very evenly-matched in recent seasons. The four Championship games between the sides to date have featured two wins apiece, a bonus point for the losers on each occasion, and an aggregate score of Jersey 73 Doncaster 74.
The most significant match-up occurred at St Peter in April 2013, when a narrow 13-10 victory for Jersey in a nervous error-strewn encounter effectively sealed the home side's Championship survival at the expense of the visitors, who were relegated for the first time in their history. The Knights bounced straight back from National One the following season, and last year finished ninth in the Championship, five points behind Jersey.
Head Coach Harvey Biljon has made four changes of personnel and one positional switch in his starting XV for this weekend. Most of the changes are in the pack: prop Danny Herriott and hooker Martin Garcia-Veiga in the front row, and the return of Nick Haining at number eight, leaving captain Alex Rae to revert to blindside flanker.
Joel Dudley has been selected at scrum-half, with Jack Moates reverting to the bench, alongside hooker Nick Selway and tight-head prop Cosma Garfagnoli - the Italian is standing by to make his league debut for Jersey. The remainder of Jersey's bench is unchanged.
One other member of the Jersey squad set to be in action this weekend is scrum-half Sami Fisilau, selected on the Tongan bench for the opening Pool C match of the Rugby World Cup. Tonga, whose starting hooker will be former Jersey player Elvis Taione, take on Georgia at Gloucester's Kingsholm ground at 12noon on Saturday. Pool C also includes Argentina, Namibia and reigning champions New Zealand.
Jersey squad v Doncaster Knights - Greene King IPA Championship, Saturday September 19th, Castle Park, k-o 2.30pm
Alex Rae (capt)