Jersey Reds are looking forward to a superb climax to the 2018-19 rugby season when their oldest rivals visit on Saturday for the 2019 Siam Cup, sponsored by Santander International.
There will be four games between Jersey Reds and Guernsey Reds, who will do battle in Veterans, Womens, Men's 2nd XV and Men's 1st XV matches. For the first time in Siam history the action will all play out on a single pitch, starting with the Vets teams contesting the Nash Cup at 10.30am and concluding with the Siam Cup itself, one of the oldest trophies in world rugby, at 4.30pm.
On top of a great day's rugby, there'll be a number of special features to entertain what is expected to be a bumper crowd.
As part of the final preparations for the big game, the Siam Cup match ball will be delivered by a parachutist from Skydive Jersey, who will jump from a plane thousands of feet above Stade Santander International at 3.35pm before landing on the pitch a few minutes later.
Reds Operations Manager Sean Dunne said: "We've been aiming to make the Siam Cup a spectacular finish to the season, and Skydive Jersey will certainly turn heads among the crowd - it'll be something no-one should miss!"
The club have been working with Skydive Jersey for several weeks regarding the event, which has been supported by match sponsor Santander International. Necessary clearance has been obtained due to the proximity of the Reds' home ground to Jersey Airport.
Another feature of the build-up will be the singing of Man Bieau P’tit Jèrri ("Beautiful Jersey") - the first time that the host Island's unofficial 'national anthem' has been played prior to the annual contest between the rival Islands.
Jersey-based singer Jenny Taylor will give her rendition of Man Bieau P’tit Jèrri prior to kick-off, accompanied by pianist Hugh Lincé. The official anthem of both Jersey and Guernsey, God Save The Queen, will also be played.
The initiative reflects support from Jersey Reds for the Island's native language Jèrriais during 2019, which was declared by the United Nations as the International Year of Indigenous Languages. This included welcome notes written in both English and Jèrriais in a recent issue of the Reds' online match programme.
Ben Spink, Jèrriais Teacher, said: “We’re delighted to have the support of Jersey Reds for our native language and we hope some of their success might be transferred to our efforts in keeping Jèrriais alive. Just like rugby, our indigenous language has the ability to unite Islanders around a common cause of which we can all feel proud. We hope the crowd will get behind Jèrriais and the team by joining in with the anthem. Hèque les Rouoges - Come on you Reds!"
Mark Morgan, Chairman of Jersey Reds, said: "We are very pleased to be working with L'Office du Jèrriais and think it's highly appropriate that Man Bieau P’tit Jèrri will be sung before the game, especially in the week where we commemorate the liberation of the Channel Islands in 1945."
The man of the match in the climactic contest will be awarded a unique trophy to mark the occasion.
The host club was approached by two year 9 pupils from Le Rocquier School, Samuel McLoughlin and Rhys Murphy. As part of their Design Technology coursework, the duo had been tasked to design and construct a product, and their idea involved a trophy for the Siam (pictured below).
Cliff Chipperfield, President of Jersey Reds, said: "We've worked with Rhys and Sam, their teacher Stewart Elston and our match sponsor during the past few weeks, and look forward to welcoming the boys to the game to see their trophy being presented."
The Santander International Siam Cup takes place on Saturday May 11th, with four games being played across the day, for Veterans, Womens, 2nd XV and 1st XV trophies. The first match will kick off at 10.30am and the climax of the day will be the Men's Siam encounter at 4.30pm. Tickets are available online via the Eventbrite website.
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