Trio of arrivals boost Islanders' squad03/11/2015
Jersey have confirmed the arrival of three new players, bolstering Head Coach Harvey Biljon's forward options moving into the next stage of the 2015/16 season.
Lock Will Rowlands, prop Oliver Tomaszczyk and Tongan international back row Uili Kolo'ofa'i, have all recently arrived on the Island and are in contention for Jersey's November schedule of matches in the Greene King IPA Championship and British & Irish Cup.
L-R: Will Rowlands, Uili Kolo'ofa'i and Oliver Tomaszczyk
Tomaszczyk, 28, was a member of the Newcastle party who travelled to Jersey for a Championship fixture in November 2012. The tight-head prop spent three seasons with the Falcons, making more than 60 appearances across the Championship and Aviva Premiership, having previously spent two years at Worcester. He studied Modern Languages at Oxford University and won rugby Blues in the Varsity Matches of 2006 and 2009, as well as having played club rugby in both France and Argentina.
Kolo'ofa'i was also a member of the Newcastle Falcons squad last season. The 33-year-old has won five caps for his native Tonga and was a member of the Tongan Rugby World Cup squad, alongside Jersey scrum-half Sami Fisilau. He has extensive global rugby experience including spells in England, New Zealand, Japan, Italy and France.
Rowlands, 24, is another former Oxford Blue having played in Varsity wins over Cambridge in 2012 and 2013. Since graduation in 2014 he has been part of the Wasps squad, including appearances in the LV Cup, and now moves to Jersey on loan for the remainder of this season.
"It's exciting to have some new faces joining the squad," Biljon said. "We know the Championship is a tough league and we've had more than our share of injuries in the opening weeks of the season, and it had been our intention to reinforce the squad once the Rugby World Cup was over.
"Oliver and Uili have considerable experience which I expect to be of benefit to our whole squad, while Will is a player of great promise who I am looking forward to seeing in action - all three will be seeking to make an impact in our next set of games and create some additional competition for places."
The arrival of Tomaszczyk follows the recent departure of fellow prop Cosma Garfagnoli after the Italian was released from his contract.
"Since arriving in Jersey in July, Cosma trained hard to fit into the squad and played in the Championship games against Doncaster and Bristol in September," said Jersey RFC Chairman Bill Dempsey. "He has found it difficult to settle in Jersey, and after talks with Harvey and myself, Cosma has been released from his contract. He goes with our best wishes, and we wish him every success in the future."
Jersey travel to London this weekend for a Championship match against London Scottish on Saturday before turning their attention to the first two rounds of this season's B&I Cup: home to Doncaster Knights on Saturday November 14th (k-o 2.30pm) and away to the Newport Gwent Dragons Premiership Select side on Sunday November 22nd.