Five more players confirmed for 17/18

13/04/2017

Jersey Reds have confirmed another five members of the club's squad for next season.

Flankers Conor Joyce and Seb Nagle-Taylor, plus hooker Jared Saunders, will join the Reds this summer ahead of the 2017/18 campaign, while two other hookers - Nick Selway and Jack Macfarlane - have agreed new deals for a fifth and second season on the Island respectively.

Joyce, 23, currently plays for Ulster. A graduate of the Ulster Academy who made his Pro12 debut in 2013 and represented Ireland Under 20s in the 6 Nations in 2013, he also played four matches against Jersey Reds in the British & Irish Cup in 2013/14 and 2016/17.

Nagle-Taylor is a 22-year-old English-born back row player who grew up in Hong Kong before attending Eastbourne College. He was involved in the England Sevens set-up while a student at University College London and on graduating he became a centrally-contracted member of the England Sevens squad for the 2015/16 season. He has played 15-a-side rugby for clubs including Blackheath, Bedford Blues and - for the past season - Ealing Trailfinders.

Head Coach Harvey Biljon said: "It will be great to have two openside flankers competing week-in-week-out for the number seven shirt and I'd expect it to have a very positive impact on our game. Seb is a great athlete and we are looking to realise his rugby potential; Conor has had internationals in his way for regular game-time in Ulster, but he showed in the B&I Cup games that he has the ability to be a stand-out Championship player."

Saunders has been a member of the squad at current Aviva Premiership and European Champions Saracens for the past eight seasons. Born in Amanzimtoti near Durban and part of the set-up at Johannesburg-based Super Rugby side the Lions early in his career, the 26-year-old has featured in the Premiership, Anglo-Welsh Cup and Heineken Cup for Sarries, as well as loan spells in the Greene King IPA Championship with Rotherham Titans, Bedford Blues and Plymouth Albion.

Macfarlane, 24, moved to Jersey last August from Glasgow Hawks; the former Scotland Under 18 hooker has made around 20 competitive appearances for the Reds.

Selway, 27, joined the Reds from Cinderford in summer 2013. He has made around 70 competitive appearances during this time, making the switch from prop to hooker and winning three Siam Cup caps.

Biljon added: "Jared should contribute a considerable amount to the squad as a result of his experience at Saracens. He's had Jamie George and Schalk Brits ahead of him in the queue, but I expect hooker to be a competitive position in Jersey next season as well and I wouldn't want it any other way - Jared, Jack and Nick will I'm sure be pushing each other once we get close to starting the season."

News of the signings and re-signings - with more to come - is a boost to the Reds who in the past three months have seen six forwards agree deals to join clubs currently in the top flight. Prop Marc Thomas moved to Cardiff Blues in January, while five more players will be leaving Jersey in the coming weeks: prop Simon Kerrod and lock Pierce Phillips (both to Worcester Warriors), flankers James Freeman and Gary Graham (Exeter Chiefs and Newcastle Falcons respectively) and number 8 Nick Haining (Bristol).

Jersey Reds complete their league season this Saturday with a home game against Richmond, and will then fix their sights on the British & Irish Cup Final, which will be played against Munster 'A' in Cork on Friday April 21st.

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