Jersey close to full squad for 2014/15


Jersey RFC's squad-building ahead of the 2014/15 season is almost complete - the club have today announced the arrival of three new players, plus the retention of another 16 members of the existing 1st XV squad.

The new faces are:

* Tongan number 8 Paula Kaho. The 29-year-old has won eight caps for his country and most recently played for Havelock SC in Sri Lanka
* Gareth Harris from Loughborough Students. The 22-year-old hooker (pictured below) is in his final year at Loughborough University, where he is studying for a Diploma in Economics, having completed a BA degree in History and International Relations last year. Harris has been a regular member of the Loughborough side who compete in National League 1, and with whom he made a pre-season trip to Jersey in 2011
Gareth Harris 2014-03-01 LSRFC Vs Rosslyn Park 031 
* Nick Haining, a versatile Australian forward whose preferred position is in the back row. The 23-year-old has been a squad member with the Perth-based side Western Force, and played for the Force against the British & Irish Lions last June

"In adding Nick, Gareth and Paula to our squad, I believe we are acquiring three very talented players," said Head Coach Harvey Biljon. "Combined with those players who are being retained, we have assembled a strong line-up.

"We have an exciting collection of young talent, with around two-thirds of our players being under 25. Mixed with some of our more experienced players, the squad should be very competitive in next season's Championship."

Those players from the 2013/14 campaign who are confirmed as part of next season's squad are:

* David Bishop - centre
* Jon Brennan - prop
* Tom Brown - number 8
* Ed Dawson - wing
* David Felton - hooker
* Mark Foster - wing
* Nicky Griffiths - scrum-half
* Ryan Hodson - back row
* Myles Landick - prop
* Drew Locke - centre/wing
* Ben Maidment - back row
* Latu Makaafi - back row
* Dave Markham - lock
* Grant Pointer - centre/wing/full-back
* Alex Rae, Jersey's captain during the past season - lock/ flanker
* Nick Selway - prop

The 19 players announced today join the 14 confirmed by the club in April:

* Joe Buckle - flanker
* Jack Burroughs - full-back
* Nick Campbell - lock
* Joel Dudley - scrum-half
* Ryan Glynn - scrum-half (new signing)
* Danny Herriott - prop (new signing)
* Tobias Hoskins - centre (new signing)
* Sam Lockwood - prop
* Mark McCrea - centre/wing
* Aaron Penberthy - fly-half
* Pierce Phillips - lock (new signing)
* Lewis Robling - centre/fly-half (new signing)
* Ben Rogers - prop (new signing)
* Harry Williams - prop (new signing)

A number of current players won't be part of the 1st XV squad next season. These are (with destination if confirmed):

* Rob Anderson
* Tom Cooper (retiring from rugby following injury during this season)
* James Copsey
* Tom Fidler (Plymouth Albion)
* Sean McCarthy (Leinster)
* Niall O'Connor
* Fred Silcock
* Luke Stratford (Hartpury College)
* Elvis Taione (Exeter Chiefs)
* James Voss (Gloucester/Hartpury College)
* Jimmy Williams
* Dave Young (Dragons)

"We'll be sad to say goodbye to those from this season who won't be back for the next campaign, and I'd like to thank them for their contributions," added Biljon. "All those who played a part in 2013/14 will be getting some well-earned rest after putting their bodies on the line for Jersey, and I look forward to teaming up with our new squad when they get together in June."

After reporting for assessment and training, the new squad will prepare for pre-season matches against Ayr, Bath and Blackheath in August, followed by the resumption of the Greene King IPA Championship in September.

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