Jersey prepare for Moseley05/02/2016
Back in league action on home soil for the first time in five weeks, Jersey will be looking for a win to propel themselves back into the top half of the Greene King IPA Championship.
The Islanders slipped to seventh in the table after being well-beaten by league leaders Bristol at Ashton Gate, with a final score of 35-12.
Saturday's opponents at St Peter may be at the opposite end of the Championship to Bristol, but Jersey know from past experience what tough opponents Moseley are - the Midlanders have won four of the seven previous meetings between the clubs, with one draw. Fortunes have swung Jersey's way in recent matches however - a 40-21 home win in the final match of last season, and a gritty 18-29 success at Billesley Common last October.
There are five changes to the starting XV: two of these are in the back-line, with Aaron Penberthy starting at fly-half in place of Brendan Cope, and Oli Evans selected at centre in the absence of Tua Otto.
There's a change in each row of the scrum: Danny Herriott coming in at prop, Uili Kolo'ofa'i in the second row and captain Alex Rae at flanker, plus a potential league debut off the bench for Rhys Owen.
Several players could not be considered for selection. Lock Will Rowlands has temporarily returned to parent club Wasps while team-mates Joe Launchbury and Bradley Davies take part in the RBS 6 Nations, and fellow loan signings Max Clark and Rory Jennings are also unavailable - Clark has temporarily returned to Bath, while Jennings sustained an injury against Bristol.
Flanker Gary Graham was also injured against Bristol, and will be absent for several weeks, while prop Oli Tomaszczyk has parted company with Jersey by mutual consent after a three-and-a-half month stay in which he made 10 appearances.
"Oli made a useful contribution during a period in which we were able to help him to return to fitness and show his ability as a prop, however he wishes to seek other opportunities and we've agreed that he'll leave Jersey," said Head Coach Harvey Biljon.
Two Jersey players are hoping to be back in 1st XV action very soon. Lock Nick Campbell played 80 minutes for Jersey Athletic in last Saturday's win over Barnes, while hooker Joe Buckle will play his first match for 10 months in the Athletic match against Ampthill this weekend.
"It's great to have players like Nick and Joe back in action," said Biljon. "Both of them have worked hard and should be in contention for 1st team opportunities soon."
Although there will be limited parking at St Peter for tomorrow's match, additional spaces are available at the Jersey Aero Club. Those who wish to park their cars before the match should allow extra time, and follow the directions of stewards.
Saturday's match against Moseley kicks off at 3pm, and will be followed by the live showing of the Scotland v England match in the RBS 6 Nations on the many big screens at St Peter - kick-off in the Calcutta Cup is at 4.50pm.
Jersey v Moseley (H) - GKIPA Championship, Saturday February 6th, St Peter, 3pm
Alex Rae (capt)