Jersey Reds will face the last, and toughest, challenge of their pre-season campaign when they take on Aviva Premiership side Harlequins at the Twickenham Stoop tomorrow.
Having started their trio of August warm-up matches with games against RC Vannes from French Pro D2 and Coventry from National 1, the Reds will now be up against a side from England's top flight.
It's the fifth time that Jersey have taken on a Premiership club after previous pre-season matches against Leicester Tigers (twice), Bath and Worcester Warriors. A host of internationals are expected in the Quins' line-up for what is the London club's only home friendly ahead of the league season, following wins away to Bristol (19-33) and London Irish (29-31).
Head Coach Harvey Biljon has made 10 changes to the starting XV from the 27-16 over Coventry last weekend as he maintains his plan to offer equal game-time to his Jersey players before selecting the side who'll commence the Greene King IPA Championship campaign at home to Doncaster Knights on Saturday September 2nd.
Jared Saunders will skipper the side from hooker in his first start for the Reds, and there are a series of new combinations across the field - centres Mark Best and George Eastwell, half-backs Oli Bryant and Joel Dudley, and the back row trio of Max Argyle, Matt Rogerson and Seb Nagle-Taylor.
A total of 11 players - six forwards and five backs - will occupy the Reds' replacement bench for what will no doubt be a physical encounter against the side who finished sixth in the Aviva Premiership last season.
There will be rugby action on the Island tomorrow as a Jersey Athletic development side takes on local rivals Dominion Royals at St Peter (k-o 3pm). The next game after that is the opening Greene King IPA Championship opener against Doncaster Knights at St Peter on Saturday September 2nd - advance tickets are available via Eventbrite - LINK.
Jersey Reds squad v Harlequins (A) - Pre-season game 3 of 3, Saturday August 19th, The Twickenham Stoop; k-o 2pm
Scott van Breda
Jared Saunders (capt)
Jack Macfarlane, Roy Godfrey, Jordan Brodley, Tom Quarrie, Rory Bartle, Seb Nagle-Taylor; Kieran Hardy, Brendan Cope, Apakuki Ma'afu, Ellis Abrahams, Ross Adair
17 Nov 2022
Old rivals both seek to stretch start-of-season winning run to 10 games