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News 2012-13

Latu returns as JRFC squad continues to take shape

30/04/2013

Jersey announce further signings for 2013/14
squad

Latu Makaafi, one of the first professionals to
play for Jersey, is to return to the Island after five years as one
of the new signings for the 2013/14 season.

The powerful back row forward, 31, has signed from Rotherham
Titans, one of three new signings announced by Jersey today as
squad-building continues ahead of a second season in the RFU
Championship - the others are another Titan, scrum-half
Jimmy Williams, and the Cambridge prop Tom
Fidler.

"I'm sure local rugby supporters will share my delight at
getting Latu back in a Jersey shirt," stated Director of Rugby Ben
Harvey. "He's become renowned in the Championship for his
uncompromising style of play during three years in this league with
Doncaster and Rotherham.

Prosignings 4_lead _203x 152

Latu spent his first two years in English rugby with Bradford
& Bingley before coming to Jersey in 2006, when he and Kern
Yates were the first two professionals signed for Jersey (pictured
above with former DoR Dai Burton), then participants in London Two
South - level six of the RFU pyramid. He helped Jersey to third
place in his first season, and then promotion the following year,
before returning to Yorkshire, where he played for Hull and
Wharfedale before joining Doncaster in 2010.

Williams, 24, played alongside Latu for Rotherham against Jersey
this season. The 24-year-old began his senior career at Gloucester
aged 17 and subsequently played for Lydney and Birmingham &
Solihull before joining Rotherham in summer 2011.

Fidler is a 27-year-old prop who has made more than 150 national
league appearances since his debut for Dings Crusaders at the age
of 20. He subsequently represented Newbury, Birmingham &
Solihull before moving to Cambridge in summer 2011, and also spent
a brief period at Ealing Trailfinders in 2011/12.

"Jimmy is a live-wire scrum-half who really impressed me this
season and his presence alongside Nicky Griffiths and Joel Dudley
will give us real strength-in-depth at number nine," said Harvey.
"Tom is a proven operator, and I've no doubt that he's capable of
making the step up from National One to the Championship."

As three new signings are unveiled, Jersey can also confirm the
departure of prop Richard Barrington. The
Gloucester-born loosehead made 20 league appearances during his
lone season at St Peter but the 24-year-old has now been snapped up
by Aviva Premiership side Saracens.

Baz

"The Championship is a shop window, and there are Premiership
scouts at every game, which creates a real opportunity for talented
young players like Richard," said Harvey. "He's been on the radar
of Saracens for some time and spent a week there earlier in the
season, and has now got the chance to make the move.

"We're very sorry to lose a player who has played a key role for
us this season, but he deserves the opportunity and we wish him all
the best."

While Harvey hopes to add the final players to his squad for
next season, Jersey are also preparing hard for the finale to the
2012/13 season, the annual Siam Cup clash with rival Channel Island
Guernsey, which takes place at St Peter this Saturday (k-o
3pm).

/*ends*/

For queries, contact Tom Innes, JRFC Media Officer, 07829
959888 tom_innes@hotmail.com

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