Back-to-back trips to London Scottish and Worcester represent a
tough stretch of the 2014/15 season.
Following the 38-17 defeat to the third-placed Exiles in London
last Friday, Jersey head to Sixways to take on second-placed
Worcester, whose only defeat of the season was a last-gasp loss to
Bristol on opening day.
A glance at the latest Championship stats shows the magnitude of
the task. In the try-scoring charts after seven rounds, Worcester
have scored 33 tries, the same as Scottish and one behind Bristol.
A long way back in equal fourth, with 19 tries, are Jersey and
Rotherham. Bottom-placed Plymouth have just six.
Defensively, Worcester have conceded only 10 tries, one fewer than
Bristol. Yorkshire Carnegie have the next tightest defence (14
tries against) and then it's Jersey, Doncaster and Scottish
But Jersey will travel with hope, knowing they have nothing to
lose and that a display similar to that which blew away Nottingham
at Meadow Lane in September would test any Championship
The match is the last in the current phase of Championship
fixtures. Teams will return to British & Irish Cup action for
the next three weekends before the league resumes just before
Jersey Team News
All change! Harvey Biljon has gone for the most radical team
selection of his first 11 months as Jersey's Head Coach for the
trip to Worcester.
Jersey's starting XV for the Friday night game at Sixways sees
just three players retain the shirts in which they took to the
field against London Scottish last Friday: lock Nick Campbell,
fly-half Jonny Bentley and inside centre Lewis Robling. Two other
players switch positions, with skipper Alex Rae returning to the
second row and Drew Locke moving from centre to wing.
The changes see 10 players come in, including six forwards: in
the front row Nick Selway (pictured above by Sue Trower)
is back from injury and makes his first appearance of the season
alongside Nacho Lancuba and Gareth Harris, while the back row trio
is also a new unit, made up of Paula Kaho, Joe Buckle and Mick
The Islanders' back line sees scrum-half Ryan Glynn, centre David
Bishop and wing Mark McCrea return, while there is a debut at
full-back for new signing Ross Jones-Davies.
Jersey's bench includes five forwards who started the match
against London Scottish: flankers Ryan Hodson and Nick Haining, and
the front row trio of Sam Lockwood, Martin Garcia-Veiga and Danny
Herriott. The replacement backs are Joel Dudley and Grant
A video preview is available HERE
Jersey squad v Worcester Warriors - Greene King IPA
Championship, Friday November 21st, Sixways - k-o
Alex Rae (capt)
Not a sausage. Diddly-squat. This is the first competitive meeting
between the teams, and almost certainly the first-ever game unless
Worcester sneaked over for an under-the-radar Jersey Tour way back
when. If they did, no-one is letting on.
Worcester - a Potted History
Founded: 1871 (subsequently disbanded in 1896, but
reformed in 1908)
Back in the Day: the club played opposite the New Road
ground of Worcestershire County Cricket Club in the 1890s
Ground: Sixways was opened in 1975 by the esteemed Irish
international Mike Gibson
Famous Sons: plenty of well-known names, especially
during the Premiership years. How about a sample seven? Ben Clarke,
Matt Kvesic and Craig Quinnell in the pack; Andy Gomarsall, Ben
Gollings (well it is sevens), Rico Gear and Chris Latham as the
Jersey Connections: two seasons ago, Max Stelling, then
18, joined Jersey on a dual-registration deal which eventually
lasted five months, playing 12 games and scoring three tries - now
he's a first-team regular for Warriors. Not quite as recently
there's John, King of England from 1199-1216: history does not look
kindly on the monarch of 800 years ago, mostly because he lost
large parts of the Angevin Empire in what is now Northern France.
However he did keep hold of the Channel Islands, which have
remained linked to the British Crown to this day... oh, and he's
buried in Worcester Cathedral
Director of Rugby: Former Saracens, Wasps, Newcastle
and Bristol back row man Dean Ryan was appointed in April 2013,
having formerly spent seven seasons in coaching roles at
League History: Worcester started in North Midlands
League 1, Level 8 of the league pyramid in 1987/88. In 1997 and
1998 successive promotions saw them reach Level 2, and promotion to
the Premiership eventually followed in 2004. Relegation in 2010 was
followed by promotion back to the top at the earliest opportunity,
but last season the Warriors were relegated again after a miserable
season that featured just two wins, both at the tail-end of the
Other Rugby this Weekend
The GKIPA Championship programme is split neatly into three pairs.
Friday's other game sees Plymouth trying to take advantage of
Yorkshire Carnegie's poor form to get that elusive first win since
March. On Saturday Doncaster host London Scottish while Nottingham
travel to Moseley. Sunday's matches are the Pirates v Bedford and
Bristol against Rotherham.
For the full Championship preview see HERE
In local rugby, on Saturday Jersey Athletic take on Old Albanians
at St Peter at 12noon in the Zoo Sports Shield, with another
international lunch in the Clubhouse to follow. The following day
Jersey Ladies take on Lewes at 2.30pm, also at St Peter, while the
Banks host the Buccs at Grainville at 12noon.
A cheering thought for those Jersey supporters who can't make it
off the Island for many away trips - after a meagre ration of home
fixtures during the season just far - just four league and cup
matches in three months, a relative glut of home action is just
round the corner.
Starting next weekend the club has 11 home fixtures in just over
five months, culminating with the Siam Cup in early May. And the
first of these fixtures will be well worth seeing - Jersey's
first-ever evening fixture under the St Peter lights will be the
'Friday Night Frenzy' (c) (TM) against Plymouth on Friday (that's
right!) November 28th - a must!
Enjoy your weekend's rugby!