Jersey Reds will welcome top-flight opposition from Wales in September as the highlight of their preparations for the forthcoming season.
The Reds will take on the Scarlets on Saturday September 7th at Stade Santander International, with kick-off at 3pm.
The Scarlets are one of four Welsh sides playing in the Guinness PRO14 alongside the leading teams from Ireland, Scotland, Italy and South Africa.
Based in Llanelli, one of the most famous rugby towns in the world, the Scarlets region represents the whole of west Wales; although they will be without the services of several Welsh internationals who will be preparing for the Rugby World Cup, the Scarlets are nevertheless likely to field a host of players with experience of playing at the top level of regional rugby.
The two teams have met once previously in the modern era, with Scarlets winning by 27-40 when they visited in August 2015; Llanelli RFC also visited Jersey on end-of-season tours in 1970 and 1981.
The Reds’ pre-season schedule will start with the visit of English National 1 side Old Elthamians on Saturday August 17th. The two sides met at the same stage of last season, with the Reds winning 35-7 at the start of a season where Elthamians were narrowly beaten to the National 1 title, and promotion to the Championship, by Ampthill. The south-east London side could include a number of former Reds in their squad, having signed George Eastwell, Cameron Holenstein and Adam Batt since the end of last season.
Elthamians will also be bringing their 2nd XV, who will play Jersey Reds Athletic prior to the 1st XV clash.
On Friday August 30th, members of the Reds’ squad will contest a ‘Probables v Possibles’ trial match, with two sides made up of members of the current squad.
Director of Rugby Harvey Biljon said:
“We’re pleased to have finalised a challenging pre-season programme. Old Elthamians were very close to reaching the Championship last season, and will want to show that they can compete with level two opposition – they’ll also have a few Jersey old boys who’ll be keen to make an impression.
“Scarlets will be a massive test for our new squad in our second and final outing before the season starts. I expect them to be very well-drilled and combative opponents – and we have another potential reunion to look forward to, with Kieran Hardy hopefully part of their squad for this game.
“The trial game, which we intend to be a full match with a team of visiting officials, will also provide a great opportunity for our supporters to see our players in action.”
The full schedule for the Reds’ pre-season is:
* Saturday August 17th – Jersey Reds v Old Elthamians – 3pm (preceded by Jersey Reds Athletic v OE 2nd XV)
* Friday August 30th – ‘Probables v Possibles’ trial match – 7.30pm
* Saturday September 7th – Jersey Reds v Scarlets – 3pm
Ticket details for the above game will be announced shortly. The full 2019/20 schedule, including recently-announced fixtures for the Greene King IPA Championship and Championship Cup, is available at www.jerseyreds.je/fixtures-results