Big Nathan selected for Championship squad


Squad announced for Championship XV vs Maori All Blacks. Saturday, November 17 at Doncaster RFC, k-o 1205, live on Sky Sports HD.


Jersey's Nathan Hannay has been confirmed as a member of the RFU Championship squad for the representative match against the New Zealand Maori team on Saturday November 17. The game will be shown live at JRFC - see below.

The Island skipper has earned his place following a series of talismanic displays in the Jersey shirt this season, including an impressive display in front of Head Coach Mike Rayer, whose Bedford side took on Jersey at St Peter at the end of September. He is one of three second-row players in the squad.

Nathan, 28, joined Jersey from Launceston in summer 2010 and has played more than 40 games for Jersey, scoring four tries. Though the Maori match takes place in the county of Nathan's birth (he was born in Halifax, Yorkshire), he was brought up in Devon and a large contingent are planning on travelling up from the south-west for the game.

The match is the second of three games to be played by the Maori on their short tour, which also includes games against Leicester Tigers (Nov 13, lost by 34-24) and Canada (Nov 23 at Oxford University).

The Championship XV game is being shown live on Sky Sports - and the JRFC clubhouse will be open from 11am. The game starts at 12.05pm, and lunch of pie, chips, peas and gravy will be available at a cost of £4. Those wanting to see some live action can watch Jersey Athletic take on Beeches (KO 12.30pm on SP4) and later on there will the Autumn International between England and Australia on the big screen (KO 2.30pm).

The 23-man Championship squad is made up entirely of English Qualified Players, drawn from all 12 Championship clubs, and reflects the wealth of talent on offer in the RFU Championship.

Commenting on the opportunity the RFU Championship XV game offers the players and the league as a whole, Rayer said:

"I think it's a great opportunity. Myself, [and fellow Coaches] Ian and Diccon have been in this division for a while now, as have a lot of the players. It's proven as a development pathway; there are a few guys in the England squad who have passed through the RFU Championship at some stage in some form. I'm a big supporter of the RFU Championship and what it's done for player development."

Three former England Under 20 players have been named in the squad, with Bedford's Josh Bassett the most recent representative. The 20-year-old scored three tries for England in their successful Six Nations campaign and also travelled to South Africa to compete in the IRB Junior World Championship last June.

Leeds Carnegie pair Calum Green and Jacob Rowan also have Under 20 caps to their name with back row Rowan, 22, Carnegie's youngest ever captain. He lay joint second in the RFU Championship try-scoring chart with six ahead of the ninth round of fixtures this weekend.

Also on six tries, Nottingham's Rhys Crane joins Green & White team mates Nic Rouse and Tim Streather in the squad.

Experience comes in the form of Cornish Pirates captain and Championship stalwart Gavin Cattle who will travel up from Penzance with team mates Phil Burgess and Alan Paver.

"There are some guys who have done really well in the RFU Championship and have been around this division for a number of years" commented Rayer.

"It's important that you have that blend of more experienced guys guiding the young enthusiastic players around the pitch. That's exactly what I'm expecting of guys like Gavin Cattle, Nic Rouse and Alan Paver, who are very experienced at this level.

"There are some really exciting looking backs in the squad as well. I'm really excited by the potential centre partnership, and what we have out wide. It's a good mix."

Luke Baldwin (Bedford Blues)
Josh Bassett (Bedford Blues)
Gavin Cattle (Cornish Pirates)
Rhys Crane (Nottingham)
Charlie Hayter (Moseley)
Dante Mama (Doncaster Knights)
Tristian Roberts (Bristol)
Jake Sharp (Bedford Blues)
Tim Streather (Nottingham)
Jack Tovey (Bristol)

Dan Baines (Rotherham Titans)
Phil Burgess (Cornish Pirates)
Tom Davies (Doncaster Knights)
Calum Green (Leeds Carnegie)
Nathan Hannay (Jersey)
Mark Irish (London Scottish)
Richard Mayhew (Newcastle Falcons)
Alan Paver (Cornish Pirates)
Ben Pienaar (Moseley)
Nic Rouse (Nottingham)
Jacob Rowan (Leeds Carnegie)
Oliver Tomaszczyk (Newcastle Falcons)
Jon Vickers (Plymouth Albion)

Head Coach: Mike Rayer (Bedford Blues)
Assistant Coaches: Ian Davies (Cornish Pirates) and Diccon Edwards (Leeds Carnegie)


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