Reds seek cup tonic in Belfast13/10/2016
Kicking off their 2016/17 British & Irish Cup campaign with a trip to Belfast tomorrow, Jersey Reds are intent on another cup run to match their efforts of last season.
The Reds progressed to the knockout stages of the B&I in 2015/16 for the first time in four attempts and subsequently defeated Bedford Blues in the quarter-final before an agonising one-point loss to Yorkshire Carnegie in the last four.
Jersey will also want to use the cup campaign as a launch-pad for their season in the Greene King IPA Championship, which has faltered after a promising start. Wins over Richmond and Bedford propelled the Reds to the top of the early season table, but have since been followed by four successive defeats, most recently the 10-36 loss to London Scottish at St Peter last Saturday.
Just six of the players from last weekend's starting XV will line up against Ulster 'A' at Shaw's Bridge, the home ground of Belfast junior clubs Cooke and Instonians.
In the back line, George Eastwell comes in for his first competitive appearance for Jersey after moving to the Island in the summer, partnering Jordan Davies at centre. Scottish international Jack Cuthbert returns at full-back, while Joel Dudley and Sam Katz form a new half-back partnership.
In the forwards, prop Mark Tampin and lock James Voss make their first starts of 2015/16, while Scots Jack Macfarlane (hooker) and Nick Campbell (lock) retain their starting berths from last weekend. The back row has a familiar look, with number eight Nick Haining starting his seventh consecutive game of the season, flanked by captain James Freeman and James Doyle.
Jersey's bench includes scrum-half Sami Fisilau, back from injury after a three-week absence.
Jersey and Ulster's 'A' side, formerly known as the Ravens, met in the B&I in 2013/14. The Northern Irishmen won 24-19 at Ravenhill before the Reds gained revenge with a 37-19 bonus point victory at St Peter.
Back on the Island, Jersey Athletic will take on Bishop's Stortford at St Peter on Saturday in a Zoo Shield match that kicks off at 3pm.
Jersey Reds squad v Ulster 'A' (A) - Greene King IPA Championship, Friday October 14th, Shaw's Bridge Sports Complex, Belfast; k-o 7pm
James Freeman (capt)
Nick Selway, Jake Woolmore, Jake Armstrong, Uili Kolo'ofa'i, Max Argyle; Sami Fisilau, Lewis Robling