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New backs arrive to boost Reds as pre-season commences

07/07/2021

Six more players have joined the Jersey Reds squad in time for the opening stages of the club’s preparation for the 2021/22 campaign.

Scrum-halves James Mitchell, Harry Simmons and Will Lane have been added to the 1st XV squad, along with centre Jordan Holgate and a brace of wings: Ryan Olowofela and Will Brown.

Mitchell (25) has made the move from Doncaster Knights, where he spent the 2020/21 Greene King IPA Championship season. The former England under 20 international spent two years in Ireland with Connacht earlier in his career prior to a move to Northampton Saints for the 2019/20 season, where he played alongside his younger brother – and fellow scrum-half – Alex.

Simmons comes to the Island on season-long loan from Leicester Tigers, where the 23-year-old has been part of the set-up since he was an under 16 player. A former pupil of Gresham’s School in Norfolk, Simmons was capped by England at under 18 and under 19 levels.

Lane (21) spent time with the Reds during last season and has now become an official part of the squad. He was a member of the Academy section at Worcester Warriors and subsequently spent two years at Loughborough University, playing 1st XV rugby and completing a sport and business management course.

Holgate’s most recent rugby stop was in Russia when he spent a season-and-a-half playing for Slava Moscow, at whose home ground the Reds took on the Russian national side in 2019. Prior to that the 24-year-old played for the Bulls Academy and Boland in his native South Africa, as well as a season in Australia with the Western Force.

Olowofela (23) spent the past two seasons with Northampton Saints, where his twin brother Jordan was a team-mate. The wing was previously part of the England Sevens set-up, earning 64 selections during two seasons on national duty, having begun his career as part of the Leicester Tigers Academy.

The third new signing to move to Jersey from fellow Championship side Ampthill, 22-year-old Brown played his first senior rugby for Colchester. He also gained experience during a season in New Zealand with East Coast Bays and subsequently played for Loughborough University, as well as being capped by Scotland at under 19 level.

The Reds are building up to pre-season matches on their home turf against Gallagher Premiership opposition – Leicester Tigers on Friday August 27th (k-o 5pm) and Sale Sharks on Friday September 3rd (k-o 7.45pm) – and are then due to start their Championship campaign on the weekend of September 18th.

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