Members of the Jersey Reds 1st XV squad celebrated the achievements of the season at Stade Santander International.
At the annual Pre-Siam Cup dinner, hosted by HSBC and featuring star guest James Haskell, members of the professional squad mingled with sponsors and looked back at the past 12 months, which featured the club’s highest-ever finish in the Greene King IPA Championship.
Leroy Van Dam walked away with two awards, the Player of the Year (as selected by the coaching team) and the Players’ Player of the Year. The Kiwi winger was also a contender for the Top Try Scorer award, but was pipped by Nick Selway, who crossed the try-line 12 times across the season.
Back row player Kyle Hatherell was named One to Watch, while Aaron Penberthy was Supporters’ Player of the Year, the latter award in memory of stalwart supporter Bunny Le Saux and originally presented after the final home league match.
There were also honours ties presented to players who had played 20 or more 1st XV games for the first time this season: Charlie Beckett, Brett Herron, Will Homer, Charlie Maddison, Harry Morley, James Newey, Sam Rodman, Leroy Van Dam and Janco Venter.
Director of Rugby Harvey Biljon paid tribute to the players who are departing the club. He picked out the contribution of Nick Selway, the club’s longest-serving player since Joel Dudley was forced to retire last August, and also Dave McKern and George Eastwell, who joined the Reds in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
The DoR also congratulated Brett Herron and Jerry Sexton on their imminent moves to play top-level rugby with Harlequins and the Isuzu Southern Kings respectively, and said he hoped the Reds would maintain the reputation of producing players capable of performing at Premiership level.
He added: “I’d like to thank all the players who won’t be here next season for the contribution they’ve made during a successful season for the club, and to wish them well for the future.”
The players who are confirmed as leaving the Reds, with destinations where confirmed, are:
* Adam Batt
* George Eastwell
* Graham Geldenhuys
* Brett Herron (Harlequins)
* Josh Hodson
* Cameron Holenstein
* Koch Marx
* Dave McKern (Ealing Trailfinders)
* Hilton Mudariki
* Sam Rodman (Cornish Pirates)
* Nick Selway (Chinnor)
* Jerry Sexton (Isuzu Southern Kings)
* Jason Worrall
Details of the destinations for several departing players will be announced in due course by their new club.
The Reds’ main focus is now on the Santander International Siam Cup this Saturday. A total of four matches will be played between Jersey Reds and old rivals Guernsey Raiders, culminating in the battle between the 1st XVs (k-o 4.30pm) for one of rugby’s oldest trophies. Tickets can be purchased online via Eventbrite