The 2016/17 season will herald a new era for Jersey Rugby Club, which will play under the name 'Jersey Reds' when the new campaign gets underway.
The renaming signifies an official adoption of a widely-used nickname for the club, and the familiar red shirts will remain synonymous with Island rugby when Jersey Reds play their first matches in August.
The club's executive committee has taken the decision to make the switch from simply 'Jersey' to 'Jersey Reds' in order to maximise the appeal to players and supporters alike. This encompasses the 1st team squad, who will shortly begin training ahead of their fifth season in the Greene King IPA Championship, as well as Jersey Athletic, Jersey Ladies and the club's thriving mini and junior section.
Incoming Club Chairman Mark Morgan, who shared the news with club members attending the annual general meeting, said the time was right to make the change.
"Jersey RFC as our members, players and wider support base know it, won't be changing. However this is a move to modernise the club's image," he said. "In Championship terms, we will be taking on a stronger identity as we compete against the likes of Cornish Pirates, Doncaster Knights and Rotherham Titans, but we are an integrated club, and that's why we will be "Jersey Reds" right across the club.
"At present, a lot of the non-playing kit that is worn by players and supporters is predominantly black. That will change and supporters who are cheering on Jersey Reds will be far more visible as well as audible by the time next season kicks off."
The new Chairman, who was elected at the club's annual general meeting in place of Bill Dempsey, who stepped down after eight years in post, said the move would give the club far greater identity both at home and further afield.
"Previously we have been simply 'Jersey', which means we have the same name as the Island itself and virtually all of the sports teams which represent the Island," he said. "Jersey Reds will be a uniquely rugby-related title and we expect it to become widely-used and popular."
The new Jersey Reds identity has been registered with the Rugby Football Union and will be unveiled officially on June 1st. Jersey Reds will definitely be ready by the time the 2016/17 season kicks off in August!
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