Two new signings for Jersey run-in26/02/2013
Jersey sign backs from Exeter and Connacht
Mark Foster and Mark McCrea have been signed for Jersey Rugby Club, joining the Island side from Exeter Chiefs and Connacht respectively.
The new recruits, both three-quarters, arrived on Monday, trained for the first time today and are in contention for the RFU Championship match against London Scottish this Saturday, March 2nd.
Foster, 29, (pictured above) spent six seasons with Gloucester, playing in both the Premiership and Heineken Cup, before signing for Exeter in summer 2009. He helped the Devon side win promotion from the Championship at the end of the following season, and has since been part of the Chiefs' successful transition to the top flight. He joins Jersey on loan until the end of the current season.
25-year-old McCrea (pictured above) spent two-and-a-half seasons playing professionally for his native province of Ulster prior to signing for Connacht in summer 2011. He obtained release from a contract due to expire in summer 2014 and has signed for Jersey until the end of the 2013/14 season.
With Jersey battling to retain their Championship status, Director of Rugby Ben Harvey said the new faces would bring an injection of talent to Jersey's back division, as well as covering the absence of injury victims such as Dai Bishop and Tom Cooper.
"Mark Foster has won this league before with Exeter and has a great deal of experience in the Premiership and the top end of the Championship which will be invaluable at this stage of our campaign," Harvey said. "Mark McCrea is at an earlier stage in his career, and he has the opportunity to get regular game-time over the next 14 months and become a key part of our back-line.
"Both these signings are quality players who I expect to make a significant impact in Jersey colours."
Mark Foster stats: born Colchester 2/9/83; 6ft (183cm) tall; 15st 10lbs (100kg) in weight; representative honours include England Under 18s, England Students and England Sevens.
Mark McCrea stats: born Belfast 7/9/87; 6ft 1in (185cm) tall; 14st 5lbs (92kg) in weight; representative honours include Ireland Under 19 and Ireland 'A'.