Unchanged Jersey squad prepares for Trailfinders03/12/2015
An unchanged Jersey squad will be seeking to conclude the first half of their league campaign on a winning note at St Peter tomorrow.
The Islanders' host Ealing Trailfinders in a 'Friday Night Lights' encounter that is the 11th match for each side in the Greene King IPA Championship's 22-game regular season.
Jersey's home and away results have been identical so far this season, averaging 2.5 match points per game, with the last two league games on the road bringing victories at London Scottish and Rotherham. Last Saturday's display at Clifton Lane was one of the most impressive displays during Harvey Biljon's two-year tenure, and the Head Coach has responded by naming the same 22 players as took part in the 6-27 bonus point victory.
"We need to deliver the same type of performance at home as we have in our last two league matches," he said. "It'll be the third time we've played a Friday Night Lights match at St Peter and we lost the previous two, so the players need to show their home supporters what they are capable of."
The Islanders should be fully aware of Ealing's potential threat; although they are currently 12th in the Championship table, the Londoners have had a number of narrow defeats to high-ranked sides. Bristol scraped home 21-26 on their trip to Vallis Way in October, while the Trailfinders' last league match away from home was the stunning 3-27 triumph over London Welsh at Old Deer Park. And in 2013/14 Ealing did the double when the sides last met at this level before Jersey's narrow escape from relegation at the Londoners' expense.
Captain Alex Rae (pictured above scoring against Ealing at St Peter in 2013) is one of five Jersey survivors from the last times the sides met, the others being Mark McCrea, Nick Selway, Aaron Penberthy and Sam Lockwood).
The two clubs have build up a keen rivalry in recent seasons since first meeting in National Two South in 2010/11. An in-depth look at this history is available on the news section of the Jersey website - see HERE.
The Championship encounter is the first instalment of a double-header weekend of rugby for Island supporters - on Saturday Jersey Athletic are at home to Worthing. The match kicks off at 12noon, with the Athletic side seeking a win to ease the frustration of their last scheduled encounter, which was postponed due to a security alert at Gatwick Airport.
Following the trip to Yorkshire, Jersey 1st XV's next matches will be back-to-back British & Irish Cup ties against Connacht Eagles. The Islanders travel to the Galway Sportsground on Saturday December 12th, and the following week the Irish Province will be the opponents for Jersey's final home match of 2015 - the match at St Peter on Saturday December 19th kicks off at 2pm.
Jersey v Ealing Trailfinders - Greene King IPA Championship, Friday December 4th, St Peter, k-o 7.45pm
Alex Rae (capt)
Jersey v Ealing Trailfinders, St Peter, 4 December, 19.45
1 Jamie Kilbane
2 Alun Walker
3 Michael Holford
4 Nathan Hannay
5 Adam Preocanin
6 Llewelyn Jones
7 Iain Grieve ©
8 Chris York
9 Alex Davies
10 Ben Ward
11 Luke Daniels
12 Callum Wilson
13 Toby Howley-Berridge
14 James Stephenson
15 Will Harries
16 George Porter
17 Rhys Lawrence
18 Nathan Buck
19 Eoghan Grace
20 Arthur Ellis
21 Alex Walker
22 Phil Chesters