Jersey face Scarlets' pre-season challenge21/05/2015
A mouth-watering clash against leading Welsh region the Scarlets will be the highlight of Jersey RFC's programme of pre-season matches ahead of the 2015/16 season.
The Scarlets, one of four Welsh sides playing in the Guinness Pro 12 alongside the leading teams from Ireland, Scotland and Italy, will take on Jersey at St Peter on Saturday August 15th. The match will be sponsored by CPA Global, the world's leading provider of IP Solutions, while it has also been confirmed that the following weekend - August 22nd - will see a return fixture between Jersey and Blackheath.
Based in Llanelli, one of the most famous rugby towns in the world, the Scarlets region represents the whole of west and north Wales; the current squad includes Welsh internationals such as Scott Williams, Ken Owens and Jake Ball, plus other capped players such as John Barclay of Scotland and Michael Tagicakibau of Fiji.
"Having the Scarlets on the Island as we build up to the new season is a real coup for Jersey, and I'm sure Island supporters will relish the chance to see our new-look squad mixing it with top-flight opponents," said Jersey RFC Chairman Bill Dempsey.
Tim Griffiths, Chief Executive of CPA Global, said: "We're delighted to be sponsoring the game between Jersey and the Scarlets - it promises to be a fantastic occasion."
Llanelli RFC played their first match in 1876 and some of the biggest names in Welsh rugby such as Ken Jones, Delme Thomas, Ray Gravell, Phil Bennett and Derek Quinnell represented the club in the 1960s and 70s. More recently, the famous scarlet jersey was worn by players such as Jonathan Davies, Stephen Jones and George North. The Scarlets region was formed officially in 2003 and in 2008 the team made the move to their 15,000-capacity home ground Parc y Scarlets.
The Scarlets played their final game of the 2014/15 season last weekend, winning 17-13 in Italy against Benetton Treviso to seal a sixth-placed finish in the Guinness Pro 12 and ensure qualification for next season's European Challenge Cup.
On Saturday August 22nd Jersey will take on Blackheath, the National One club from south-east London, one of the former clubs of Jersey Head Coach Harvey Biljon. Blackheath is another historic rugby name, as it is the oldest club in England dating back to 1858. The two sides met in National One in 2011/12 and more recently in a pre-season match at St Peter last August.
Blackheath's visit to the Island is expected to include fixtures for the two clubs' 2nd XV and ladies teams, as well as the 1st XV match.
A potential third pre-season game for the Islanders remains to be confirmed - this is likely to take place on Saturday August 8th.