Jason Thomas signs for JRFC


South African hooker Jason Thomas has signed for Jersey RFC, in what Head Coach Harvey Biljon says is his final piece of pre-season squad-building.

The former player with the Blue Bulls team in his home country, Thomas (pictured below) was a member of the 'Baby Boks' squad who won the IRB Under 20 World Cup in 2012. The new signing, now 22, played against his new Jersey team-mate Tommy Bell when South Africa defeated England en route to victory in the final over New Zealand.

Jason Thomas

"Jason is hungry to get involved and recognises he has a great opportunity in Jersey," said Biljon. "We are short-handed at hooker, with Dave Felton having recently had an operation and facing several months on the sidelines, and Jason will provide valuable depth to the squad. I expect him to be competing hard for game time along with [other new signings] Martin Garcia Veiga and Gareth Harris."

The signing of Thomas has been made possible through an enhanced sponsorship deal agreed between JRFC and Jersey resident, Jason Cowleard.

"Jason Cowleard is also from South Africa - he's a keen supporter of the club and was keen to establish links with one of our new signings and to watch him develop throughout his career at JRFC," said Club Chairman Bill Dempsey. "Jason Cowleard's generosity has been a key factor in providing the funding for this exciting signing, and we're very grateful for his support."

The Jersey players are currently taking a few days' rest after the first two months of pre-season training. The squad will resume their training schedule next week, in the final phase of their build-up to the Championship season, which starts on September 6th. Ahead of this date, Jersey play three pre-season matches at St Peter:

* August 16th: Jersey v Ayr (4pm)
* August 23rd: Jersey v Bath (3pm)
* August 30th: Jersey v Blackheath (4pm)

Tickets for the Ayr and Bath games are now available, priced £5 (Ayr) and £15 (Bath) for all spectators (including members). The Blackheath game will be part of a family day at the club, which also includes a game between Jersey Athletic and Blackheath Heathens at 12noon - admission on this date will be free.

Jersey's first league match at St Peter will be when Doncaster Knights visit the Island on Saturday September 13th.

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