Jersey head to Bedford this Friday night aiming to extend their British & Irish Cup run into further unchartered waters.
To reach the B&I semi-finals, the Reds will need to inflict a third defeat of the season on the Blues. Just four weeks ago Jersey battled back from a 12-point half-time deficit to win 18-25 at Goldington Road, while in October the Islanders achieved a 34-27 victory at St Peter, with each side claiming a bonus point in a game featuring seven tries.
Friday's game will be Jersey's first knock-out match in a cup competition they are entering for the fourth time this season. The 2015/16 campaign began disappointingly, with a home draw against Doncaster Knights and a last-gasp defeat to the Dragons Select XV in south Wales, but four straight wins in their remaining pool matches saw the Reds seal a quarter-final berth.
Head Coach Harvey Biljon has made just a single change to his starting XV from the unit that registered an impressive 15-22 Championship win at Nottingham last Friday. Club captain Alex Rae returns to the back row, with Nick Haining moving across to number 8 and Uili Kolo'ofa'i switching to the bench.
Among Jersey's replacements are two players set to return after being absent through injury since Jersey's visit to Bristol six weeks ago: flanker Gary Graham and three-quarter Fautua Otto.
The winner of the quarter-final tie will go on to play an away semi-final against either Moseley or Yorkshire Carnegie the following weekend. Later in March, Jersey's next home tie will be the Championship clash against London Scottish, which will be played on Good Friday, March 25th, kicking off at 3pm.
To see the preview of all four quarter-final ties, see HERE
Jersey squad v Bedford Blues (A) - British & Irish Cup Quarter-Final, Friday March 11th, Goldington Road, k-o 7.45pm
Alex Rae (capt)
18 May 2023
DoR pays tribute to leaving players after title-winning season