Jersey Reds’ squad-building ahead of the 2020/21 season continues as the club confirms the signing of a trio of half-backs.
Scrum-halves Michael Dowsett and James Elliott, plus fly-half Sam Leeming, will make the move to the Island this summer as the Reds prepare for a new season following an extended mid-year break brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
Dowsett (pictured top), is an experienced number 9 who played his first senior rugby for Northern Suburbs in his home city of Sydney before moving to Canberra-based team the Brumbies, where he made 22 Super Rugby appearances in three seasons. The 28-year-old then moved to Europe in 2016, spending two seasons with Worcester Warriors, before relocating to Japan where he played for the Canon Eagles for two years.
Elliott, 21 (pictured above), is a former England Students scrum-half who was part of the set-up at Newcastle Falcons while studying at Northumbria University, and during the past season gaining Greene King IPA Championship experience with Yorkshire Carnegie.
Also hailing from the north-east of England is Darlington-born fly-half Leeming (pictured above), who attended Barnard Castle School and was part of the Newcastle Falcons Academy during his late teens. The 22-year-old then moved to Hartpury, spent some time in Australia in 2018 while playing for Sydney club side Gordon, and most recently spent another season in the Championship with Bedford Blues.
Director of Rugby Harvey Biljon said: “Michael is a really great acquisition for the club who brings a lot of experience, but still has a great deal to offer. Sam has impressed me when we have played Hartpury and Bedford in recent seasons, while James is at an early stage of his career but I believe has the skill-set and attitude to grow as a player at this level.
Biljon also confirmed the departure of Luc Jones after one season on the Island, thanking the scrum-half for his contribution and wishing him well for the future.
The new signings will join 15 players from the Reds’ 2019/20 squad, as well as other new faces set to be unveiled this week – see link to announcement about players staying and departing. The club has already confirmed the signings of hooker George Edgson, props Ollie Dawe, Jack Higgins and Ciaran Parker, locks Zak Farrance, Shay Kerry and Sean O’Connor and flanker Lewis Wynne.