Reds set for home opener

11/08/2017

The first home action of the 2017/18 season will see Jersey Reds run out at St Peter to take on Coventry.

The game will be the first chance for the new-look Reds' squad to impress their home supporters as they build up to the first Greene King IPA Championship match, at home to Doncaster Knights, on Saturday September 2nd.

Visitors Coventry have ambitions to return to the Championship; having finished ninth in National 1 two seasons ago, they improved to fourth last season behind unbeaten champions Hartpury and will be aiming higher this time around. A number of new recruits have arrived at Butts Park Arena this summer and Jersey will face a side packed with Championship experience, plus some who have played at the top level. Among the more familiar faces will be Latu Maka'afi, one of the first professionals to sign for the Reds in 2006, and Heath Stevens, who spent part of last season with the Reds.

The Reds began their season with a trip to Brittany to take on French Pro D2 club RC Vannes, and were defeated 38-14. Head Coach Harvey Biljon has pledged to give every member of his squad at least one start in pre-season, and consequently fields an all-changed starting XV. Full-back Scott van Breda will skipper the side in his first appearance for the Reds, and there are also debuts for centre Ellis Abrahams, prop Alec Clarey, lock Tom Quarrie and flanker Seb Nagle-Taylor. Jared Saunders is also set to make a first appearance for his new club - the hooker is among a 10-man bench.

It's the third time that Coventry have visited the Island during pre-season in recent years, with the home side winning 31-21 in 2013 and by 47-5 last year. The two sides also met in National 1 in 2011/12, the season that Jersey won promotion to the Championship. Some more info about Coventry and the previous games between the sides, see THIS ARTICLE from August 2016.

The Reds' third and final pre-season match will be away to Harlequins on Saturday August 19th, with the opening Championship matches following on the first weekend of September, when Doncaster Knights are the visitors to St Peter on Saturday September 2nd.

Admission to the Coventry game is £5 for all adult spectators, with under 18s admitted free. Tickets are available on the gate or in advance via Eventbrite. A handful of places for the pre-match barbecue lunch remained on Friday morning, but these are expected to sell out shortly.

For Coventry team news, see THIS LINK

Jersey Reds squad v Coventry (H) - Pre-season game 2 of 3, Saturday August 12th, St Peter; k-o 3pm

Backs (15-9)

Scott van Breda (capt) *
Josh Hodson
Ellis Abrahams *
Apakuki Ma'afu
Ross Adair
Brendan Cope
Kieran Hardy

Forwards (1-8)

Jake Woolmore
Jack Macfarlane
Alec Clarey *
James Voss
Tom Quarrie *
Matt Rogerson
Seb Nagle-Taylor *
Max Argyle

Replacements

Jared Saunders *, Jordan Brodley, Jake Armstrong, Jerry Sexton, Rory Bartle, Conor Joyce; Joel Dudley, George Eastwell, Mark Best, Jason Worrall

* debut

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