Latest signings: Fossie, Bear & Tom Brown13/05/2013
Jersey RFC have announced a number of confirmed additions to the squad for the 2013/14 season.
Prop Jon Brennan, Jersey's longest-serving player, will be back for another campaign in the RFU Championship, along with three-quarter Mark Foster, whose loan arrangement from Exeter Chiefs becomes a permanent deal. The Island side have also moved swiftly to recruit a new back row player, with Tom Brown joining from Newport Gwent Dragons.
Brennan, 31 (above), also known as the Bear, has been a fixture in the Jersey side for more than a decade, starting when the club competed in London Three South-West, level seven on the RFU pyramid.
"JB showed last season that he was more than capable of performing at level two, and was a major factor in making our scrum a one of the most respected units in the league," stated Director of Rugby Ben Harvey. "I'm sure all supporters in Jersey will be as pleased as I am that he's signed up for another campaign."
Foster, 29 (above), joined Jersey from Exeter on loan in February and played in the final seven league games of the season. He has now signed a two-year deal and Harvey intends to utilise him in both playing and coaching roles.
"First and foremost Mark will be a player - he has already shown the talent and experience that made him part of a Premiership squad for four seasons," Harvey said. "He also has longer-term ambitions in coaching, and the intention is that he will start to play a part in coaching our backs."
Brown, 29 (below), was born in Doncaster and qualifies through his parents for both England and Wales. He represented Wales at Under 21 level, and in rugby league, and spent two seasons with the Dragons, prior to which he was with Cardiff Blues and London Welsh.
"Tom has spent three seasons playing a very good standard of rugby in the Pro12 and earning an excellent reputation," said Harvey. "I'm sure he'll become a major asset to the Jersey squad and look forward to working with him in June when pre-season training starts."
Harvey also confirmed that 27-year-old winger James Copsey (above scoring against Plymouth this season) will be remaining with the club for what will be his fourth season at St Peter.
The departures of other members of the 2012/13 Jersey squad have also been confirmed:
- Prop James Gethings has accepted a banking job, based in London, and hopes to continue his rugby career as a part-time player
- Full-back Barry Davies, who won a Welsh cap in the 2006 Six Nations, leaves the club after one season
- Number 8 Nick Trower, a qualified surveyor who has been one of Jersey's part-time players, but will not be part of the core 1st XV squad for 2013/14
- Loan signings Charlie Clare (hooker) and Max Stelling (centre/wing) have returned to their 'parent' clubs, Leicester and Worcester respectively. Clare has subsequently been signed by Championship side Bedford.
"There have been some difficult decisions to be made as we plan for next season and move towards becoming a full-time squad," said Harvey. "All of the departing players have played a part in the club's success and I'd like to wish them well for the future."
Harvey said he may still have one or two players to sign up for 2013/14, but was otherwise content with his squad-building efforts.
"I'm pleased to have some very talented individuals, both established Jersey players and new signings, in the mix for the forthcoming season and am confident we will be a force to be reckoned with once the league action gets underway next September," he said.