After a long summer's anticipation, Championship rugby is back at St Peter this Saturday.
Jersey Reds' long-awaited first home game of the 2016/17 Greene King IPA Championship will see Bedford Blues visit the Island. Saturday's game kicks off at 3pm.
Anticipation levels, already high, have mounted on the back of the Reds' impressive start to the league season last Saturday, when newly-promoted Richmond were put to the sword on their home patch in south-west London. Jersey scored seven tries in an eventually-comfortable 16-41 success - our first win on the opening day of the league season since 2010.
Saturday's result sees the Reds on top of the Championship table, albeit that there are still 21 games to play for each club.
Bedford Blues will be looking for revenge having lost all three games against Jersey last season - two league encounters plus the B&I Cup quarter-final - and currently trailing the Reds 6-3 in matches over the past four seasons. Club captain for 2016/17 is Islander Mikey 'Booj' Le Bourgeois (pictured below). While the Reds look to keep up the momentum gained by three pre-season wins and the victory at Richmond, the Blues will be seeking to bounce back from an opening day home defeat by Cornish Pirates (17-26).
As it's the start of the season, here's a round-up of stuff you need to know.
Getting to St Peter
Regular buses on the #9 and #15 Liberty bus routes [ click HERE for timetables ], or if you wish to drive please follow the signs for car parking off the main Airport Road and allow plenty of time to cope with any build-up of traffic. There's no charge for car parking.
You can buy non-member match tickets in advance online via Eventbrite, or from outlets including The Lamplighter pub and Red Properties in St Helier, and the JEP at Five Oaks. Members tickets are available on match-day for £12 - a saving of £8 on the normal non-member price. Students can gain admittance for £6 on production of suitable i/d, while under 18 admission is free (again, proof-of-age may be required).
If you haven't signed up yet as a member, you're missing a host of potential benefits, in addition to the £8 saving on admission. You can sign up online via this link, or if you'd like a hand with getting signed up, our Membership Secretary Kevin Gollop will be available on Saturday from 1- 2pm in the marquee and can guide you through what's required. Please bring your debit card and, if you have one, a membership card from last season.
Bouncy Castle for Kids
Any young supporters who need to let off steam because Harvey hasn't selected them for the Reds' squad can do so on a bouncy castle which will be situated in the main car park. The giant inflatable, with a marshall to ensure safe capacity limits are maintained, will be free-of-charge and available from 2pm to 4.45pm.
Former Players' Bar
For the first time, our new bar for former players will be open - it is situated at the Jersey Bowl end of the ground, and is open to former players for JRFC or any other Island club.
Other food and drink outlets
Options for eating and drinking will include the Pavilion and other outlets around the Ground, which include the new 'Shirley's Café' in the Airport corner on the site of the old pork van. This will be a walk-in café where you can get a pork roll, a posh dog, a beer, glass of wine, soft drink or hot beverage.
if you are ordering beer by the pint, we have new sturdy plastic pint pots (pictured below) which will be issued in exchange for a refundable deposit of £1. Use the glass for as long as you want, or exchange it for a fresh one, or give it back when you've finished and get your deposit back.
Another great benefit of membership, designated seating areas are available - these are the two bleacher blocks between the Lord Jersey Stand and the scoreboard and will be available to members only on a first-some-first-served basis until kick-off at 3pm.
Blocks of seating in other areas of the ground will be available to all spectators - first-come-first-served.
The Clubhouse will be open to all after the game.
The shop will be open between 1pm and 5pm, stocking the new range of Jersey Reds' merchandise.
The usual pre-match reception for both home and away supporters will take place in the pavilion between 5.30 and 7.30pm. The bar will be open and there'll be some free nibbles.
Why not come a chillout in the supporters marquee before the game, A fully stocked bar and food is available, seated and standing tables, on a first come first served basis and a great place to meet the Reds supporters.