Reds look to finish on a high

27/04/2018

Jersey Reds will close their sixth season in the Greene King IPA Championship with plenty still to prove in the final standings.

A top-four place in the final table is within the Reds' reach should they be able to close their season with a win over Doncaster Knights at Castle Park and other results go their way; as well as potentially beating their previous highest finish of fifth, the rankings are worth an extra £5,000 in prize money for every place in the table.

Victory for the visitors would also ease the pain of a cruel end to their British & Irish Cup campaign, with Leinster 'A' fighting back to seize victory with the final kick at Stade Santander International last Saturday.

A physical encounter against the visitors from Ireland has taken its toll, with a number of changes to the Reds' squad after several players suffered injuries.

Three players are called in to the back-line, including two who agreed new contracts for 2018/19 this week: wing Auguy Slowik, and centre James Newey, whose loan move from Bristol will become permanent. Newey is paired with George Eastwell in midfield.

In the forwards, Jared Saunders comes in at hooker while Uili Kolo'ofa'i joins Jerry Sexton in the second row. With flankers Conor Joyce and Max Argyle missing out, Rory Bartle and Jake Upfield take their places.

Among the players who will make their final appearance for Jersey Reds are props Jake Armstrong and Jake Woolmore, who will both reach the milestone of 50 competitive appearances when they run out at one of Armstrong's former clubs. The duo, and winger Tom Pincus, will join Bristol this summer.

Jersey's bench has a 4:3 forwards/backs split and features the return of hooker Jack Macfarlane and wing Josh Hodson, an opportunity for lock Tom Quarrie and a potential debut for scrum-half Alex Dolly, who arrived on the Island from National 1 side Fylde on a short-term deal last month.

The Reds and the Knights will be meeting for the third time this season. The Yorkshire side edged a tight affair in Jersey on the opening weekend of the season by 24-26, but more recently the Reds won a home quarter-final in the B&I Cup by 22-10. The cup tie was the first time in 12 encounters that the winning margin between the sides had been more than seven points, and the overall tally is five wins each with two matches drawn.

Jersey Reds Athletic will close their Zoo Shield campaign with a tough challenge on home turf against the league's second-placed side, Ampthill. Kick-off is at 3.45pm, with many of the Athletic side looking to stake their claim for places in next weekend's annual Siam Cup clash against Channel Island neighbours Guernsey.


Jersey Reds squad v Doncaster Knights (A) - Greene King IPA Championship, Round 22/22, Saturday April 28th, Castle Park, k-o 3pm

Backs (15-9)

Scott Van Breda (co-capt)
Tom Pincus
James Newey
George Eastwell
Auguy Slowik
Brendan Cope
Kieran Hardy

Forwards (1-8)

Jake Woolmore (co-capt)
Jared Saunders
Jake Armstrong
Jerry Sexton
Uili Kolo'ofa'i
Rory Bartle
Jake Upfield
Matt Rogerson

Replacements

Jack Macfarlane, Roy Godfrey, Leeroy Atalifo, Tom Quarrie; Alex Dolly, Mark Best, Josh Hodson.

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