Harvey set to take charge at Jersey RFC02/01/2014
Jersey RFC have appointed Harvey Biljon as the club's new Head Coach.
The former London Wasps scrum-half joins the Island side from Cornish Pirates, where he was Assistant Coach. He will take up his role at the start of next week, working alongside Forwards Coach Steve Boden, who will remain in interim charge for Jersey's match against London Welsh at St Peter this Saturday.
Biljon comes to Jersey after four-and-a-half seasons in Cornwall - during this period the Pirates enjoyed considerable success, winning the British & Irish Cup in 2010 and twice reaching the Championship play-off final. Previously the 36-year-old South African was a player and Director of Rugby at Blackheath from 2006 to 2009, and also coached the England Counties representative team for two seasons.
Jersey RFC Chairman Bill Dempsey said Biljon had been the outstanding candidate.
"We had a very long meeting with Harvey last week and were extremely impressed with his ambition and enthusiasm regarding the Head Coach role," he said. "We wanted to appoint someone to take charge and consolidate our position in the Championship after a challenging first half of the season.
"Some high-calibre rugby CVs have been considered, but we are convinced we have found the right man for the job, and are grateful that Cornish Pirates have agreed to release Harvey from his contract so that he can take charge almost immediately."
Dempsey paid tribute to the work of Steve Boden during his month in interim charge of Jersey.
"Steve is a young coach with great potential and the players have responded well since he took charge. He will revert to his role as Forwards Coach, and we believe working with Harvey will provide the club with a very solid coaching team, as well as enabling Steve to make further progress in his coaching career."
Biljon visited Jersey with Cornish Pirates for the November league match between the sides, and said he was impressed by the passion he witnessed at St Peter.
"I was standing among the crowd watching the game and sensed real pride and enthusiasm among the supporters," he said. "I met Bill Dempsey and [Business Manager] John Poynton last week and was struck by their ambition for the club, and convinced that it was something I wanted to play a part in as Head Coach.
"This is a really exciting opportunity for me after four years coaching in the Championship, and I can't wait to get started," he said. "My first priority will be to sit down and talk with Steve Boden and then to the players, and then I can begin reviewing the structures at the club over the coming weeks and plan how I intend to move things forward."
Biljon has signed a three-year contract with Jersey and will be moving to the Island with his wife and two young children.
/*pictures by Brian Tempest, courtesy of Cornish Pirates*/