Harvey Biljon pens new Reds contract24/01/2019
Jersey Reds' Harvey Biljon has committed his future to the Island after signing a new deal stretching to summer 2024.
The newly-titled Director of Rugby, who marks five years in Jersey this month, has agreed to extend for three seasons beyond the conclusion of his previous contract in 2021. His side are currently enjoying a successful season, sitting third in the Greene King IPA Championship table and aiming for their highest-ever finish at level 2.
Jersey Reds Chairman Mark Morgan said he was delighted to have Biljon on-board for the long-term.
"This is fantastic news for the club, and the Island," he said. "The way the club has moved on during Harvey's time here is tremendous, and he has really committed himself to our intention of becoming an established force in the Championship. We have developed an excellent reputation for developing players, and coaches, and that will continue. We have earned greater recognition for the contribution the club makes to the Island, and look forward to maintaining that, with Harvey continuing to play a leading role."
Biljon, 41, who played scrum-half for Natal Sharks in his native South Africa before enjoying a successful career in England with Wasps from 2000 to 2005, arrived in Jersey in January 2014 from Cornish Pirates, where he had been Assistant Coach since 2009. As Head Coach he steered the Reds to a last-day escape from relegation in his first season, since when the club have registered seventh, sixth and a brace of fifth-place finishes in the Championship, as well as enjoying runs to the latter stages of the British & Irish Cup for the past three seasons. More than 20 players have moved to top-flight clubs during this period.
Biljon said that the decision to commit to Jersey had been based on a number of positive factors.
"The club is going in a great direction and we have the opportunity to reach an even stronger position," he said. "I hope that our existing players and coaches will take confidence from this and we'll grow our reputation for the role we play in helping talented individuals to realise their potential to reach the top level.
"I'm very happy in Jersey and it didn't take long to convince my family - Kate and the kids are very settled on the Island and that made the decision an easy one to make in the end."
Biljon's first match as Director of Rugby will be this weekend when the Reds take on Championship leaders London Irish at the Madejski Stadium in Reading, looking to complete a double against the Exiles who went down 17-14 on their visit to Jersey in November. Sunday's match, which will be screened live on Sky Sports, comes five years and two days after Biljon first took charge of the Reds in Championship game, when Rotherham Titans visited the Island.