With less than a month before the first rugby action of 2017/18, the Jersey Reds squad for the new season is almost finalised.
Five players have been added to those already announced; Irish wing/full-back Ross Adair has returned to the Island, and there are four new faces: lock Jerry Sexton, number 8 Rory Pitman, scrum-half Tim Duchesne and utility back Scott van Breda.
After a short spell back in his native Belfast, 23-year-old Adair has agreed a new contract with the Reds, for whom he has made almost 50 competitive appearances over the past two seasons, culminating in the British & Irish Cup final defeat to Munster 'A' in Cork in April.
Sexton, 24, faced the Reds three times last season while playing for London Irish. He spent time playing in France for Auch early in his career and represented Ireland under 20s in 2013 alongside another new signing, Conor Joyce, before joining Exeter in 2014. His older brother is the Ireland and Lions' fly-half Jonny Sexton.
Another man who has won under 20 honours for his country, 27-year-old Welshman Pitman spent two seasons playing for the Scarlets in the Pro 12, European Champions Cup and LV Cup. He began his career in Wales playing for the Ospreys before joining Glasgow in 2011, then played a season of Championship rugby for Rotherham in 2012/13 and then joined Wasps.
Duchesne, 24, was born in Sydney and won schoolboy honours for Australia and was part of the squad for the Melbourne Rebels Super Rugby franchise in the wider training group in Sydney. He has gained experience in England during a brief spell with Northampton Saints in 2016, and last season played 24 games for Darlington Mowden Park in National 1.
Van Breda was born in Cape Town where he attended Rondebosch Boys High School. Now 25, he subsequently studied for a Bachelor of Commerce qualification at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth and has played for a number of leading sides in South Africa including the Eastern Province Kings, the Southern Kings, Western Province and the Stormers. He has played most of his rugby as a full-back but has also featured in other back-line positions.
Jersey Reds have also confirmed that two players from last season's squad have left the club, with centre Jordan Davies and back row player Ayron Schramm both leaving the Island.
Head Coach Harvey Biljon said: "I'm pleased to have a talented group of individuals at the club - they are training hard and starting to mix together well as a squad - there's a real focus on the August pre-season games and the Championship and B&I action to follow. Competition for places will be fierce and everyone's looking forward to getting into action."
The Reds' confirmed squad so far comprises 32 players, 19 forwards and 13 backs:
Prop: Jake Armstrong, LeeRoy Atalifo, Jordan Brodley, Alec Clarey, Roy Godfrey, Jake Woolmore
Hooker: Jack Macfarlane, Jared Sauders, Nick Selway
Lock: Uili Kolo'ofa'i, Dave McKern, Jerry Sexton, James Voss
Back Row: Max Argyle, Rory Bartle, Conor Joyce, Seb Nagle-Taylor, Rory Pitman, Matt Rogerson
Half-back: Oli Bryant, Brendan Cope, Tim Duchesne, Joel Dudley, Kieran Hardy
Centre: Mark Best, George Eastwell, 'Apakuki Ma'afu
Wing/Full-back: Ross Adair, Josh Hodson, Tom Pincus, Scott van Breda, Jason Worrall
All the Reds' fixtures for the forthcoming season can now be found via THIS LINK
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