Freeman and Fisilau commit for 2016/1711/02/2016
Jersey RFC have taken another step in planning ahead for the 2016/17 season by securing the services of two more members of the club's existing squad.
Scrum-half Sami Fisilau and flanker James Freeman will both be back at St Peter this summer preparing for the new season after signing new deals with the Island side.
Back row player Freeman (pictured below by Rich Chapman) joined Jersey last summer, signing from Loughborough Students at the same time as graduating with a degree in Sports Science and Management. The 25-year-old was signed as a professional by Worcester early in his career before moving to Loughborough in 2011, and subsequently captaining the Students for two seasons. So far this season Freeman has played 12 league games and notched a further six B&I Cup appearances.
Head Coach Harvey Biljon said: "Signing James for another year means we will have real depth and competition for places in the back row. James brings great ball-carrying ability and solid defence to the team, and 2016/17 will be a big year for him."
Fisilau, 28, who has won 18 caps for his native Tonga, came to Jersey in January 2015 after playing the majority of his professional rugby in New Zealand, most recently for Bay of Plenty in the ITM Cup. He joined Bay of Plenty from Counties Manukau in 2011 and was also a squad member for Wellington-based Super Rugby franchise the Hurricanes.
Fisilau (pictured above by Rich Chapman) made his debut for Tonga in 2010, playing in the 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cups, and has made seven league and four cup appearances this season since returning from World Cup duty.
Biljon commented: "Sami brings calm and control at scrum-half; even though he has put in some fantastic performances during his time with Jersey, I believe we are yet to see his best rugby."
So far a total of 14 players have been confirmed as members of Jersey's 2016/17 squad: as well as Freeman and Fisilau, flanker Gary Graham, lock Pierce Phillips, hooker Nick Selway, fly-half Brendan Cope, centre Lewis Robling, wing Ross Adair and full-back/wing Rich Lane have agreed new contracts, while club captain Alex Rae (lock/back-row), hooker Joe Buckle, Nick Haining (back row) and locks Nick Campbell and Dave McKern have existing contracts stretching into next season.
Jersey travel to Bedford this Saturday for a Greene King IPA Championship match. After a weekend off, the squad will be back in action on home soil when London Welsh visit St Peter on Saturday February 27th (k-o 2pm).