Jersey Reds have signed promising young hooker Nic Dolly, who has signed for the Island side on a season-long loan from Gallagher Premiership side Sale Sharks.
The 20-year-old arrives at Stade Santander International as the Reds bid farewell to another hooker, Charlie Maddison, who has signed for Newcastle Falcons after just over a year in Jersey.
Sydney-born Dolly, whose mother is English, has progressed rapidly since moving to England in 2016. While visiting his grandparents in Manchester, he gained an opportunity with Sale Sharks and signed a five-year contract in 2017, when he also played for England under 18.
In the past two years, Dolly has made four 1st XV appearances for the Sharks, as well as loan spells with Sale FC and Rotherham Titans, playing for the latter on their most recent trip to Jersey in March 2018 – his older brother Alex, a scrum-half, was part of the Reds’ squad at the time. Nic Dolly also won nine caps for England under 20 earlier this year, featuring in both the Six Nations and Junior World Cup.
Dolly will slot into the Reds’ squad as Maddison, briefly a team-mate at Rotherham, heads north to join the Falcons, who are preparing for life in the Greene King IPA Championship following relegation from the Premiership four months ago.
Reds’ Director of Rugby Harvey Biljon said: “Charlie received an offer from Newcastle, who have ambitions to return to the Premiership. It’s a good opportunity for him and we’d like to thank him for his contribution and wish him the best.
“I’m very pleased to have Nic joining us – he is a young player with great promise and I expect this move to be great for him in developing his career, as well as leaving us with three strong options at hooker alongside Jack Macfarlane and TJ Harris.”
Dolly will link up with his new team-mates on their return from Moscow, where they are playing a pre-season match that is part of the host nation’s preparation for the forthcoming Rugby World Cup in Japan. Tonight’s match at the Slava Stadium kicks off at 5pm BST.
Jersey Reds have three pre-season games, the first of which saw them take on English National 1 opponents Old Elthamians, scoring six tries in a 36-7 victory. After returning from Moscow, the pre-season schedule concludes on Saturday September 7th when Guinness PRO14 side Scarlets come to Stade Santander International.
Competitive action for the Reds begins with a Championship Cup tie at home to Newcastle Falcons on Saturday September 21st. The first league match will be at home to Coventry on Saturday October 12th.