With new Head Coach Harvey Biljon set to take control of the
Jersey squad next week, there is a chance for the man in interim
charge to sign off with a victory this weekend.
Steve Boden will revert to his permanent role of Forwards Coach
on Monday as Biljon steps into the hot seat after an intensive
two-week recce, but before then Boden and his players will be
looking to complete this season's British & Irish Cup campaign
with victory over Ayr.
The team from Scotland's West Coast were beaten 28-16 by Jersey
at St Peter in October's opening round of the B&I, but since
then both sides have struggled, registering just one win apiece in
their subsequent Cup outings.
Neither side can qualify for the knock-out stages, but Jersey
will want to cement second spot in pool 6 and keep up the momentum
achieved by success over Ulster Ravens last weekend (37-19). The
Islanders begin a crucial phase of their Greene King IPA
Championship campaign at home to Rotherham on Saturday 25th
For the game in Ayr, Jersey's longest-ever journey for a
competitive fixture, Boden has shuffled his pack, and his
back-line. Some regular players, such as prop Dave Young, flanker
Latu Makaafi, lock and captain Alex Rae and fly-half Niall
O'Connor, are rested, giving opportunities to others.
Rae's role as captain passes to former Ulster and Connacht
centre Mark McCrea (pictured above by Sue Trower), while
the fly-half shirt is taken by Joel Dudley, who has played most of
his rugby at scrum-half. Young Jack Burroughs misses out through
illness, with James Copsey stepping in at full-back, and there is a
welcome return for winger Ed Dawson after an ankle injury.
In the forwards, Nick Selway starts at tight-head, Nick Campbell
will take on his former club in tandem with Rob Anderson in the
second-row, and James Voss gets a chance at blind-side.
Jersey's bench includes the return of prop Jon Brennan and a
first selection for JRFC Academy graduate Matt Michel - the
18-year-old, who plays both scrum-half and wing, has impressed in
recent outings for Jersey's Colts XV and will be hoping to get his
chance to make an impact.
The match at Millbrae kicks off at 2pm on Saturday. A full
preview can be found HERE and there'll be live
commentary on BBC Radio Jersey.
Jersey squad v Ayr (A) Saturday January 18th 2014, k-o
Elvis Taione, Jon Brennan, Dave Markham, Fred Silcock, Jimmy
Williams, Mark Foster, Matt Michel.
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