Promising youngster Harry Doolan has been offered the chance to become a pro player on the Island of his birth by signing a contract with Jersey Reds.
The 18-year-old hooker spent time training with the Reds’ 1st XV squad last season and has now been offered a chance to take the next step by turning professional on 1 July, when he will officially commence a four-year contract.
Doolan played his age group rugby for the Reds’ mini and junior section; last season he combined Colts’ rugby with several senior appearances for Jersey Reds Athletic, the club’s amateur 2nd XV, starting as a flanker before reaching his 18th birthday and being able to switch to the front row . He also played county rugby for Hampshire at several age grades.
The former pupil of Mont Nicolle primary, Les Quennevais and Hautlieu schools fitted his rugby last season in between studies at Highlands College, where he completed a BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sport.
Once pre-season training is underway ahead of the 2020/21 season, Doolan will get the chance to work with former England hooker Rob Webber, who is shortly to join the Reds as the club’s new Forwards Coach. He said he was eager to get started.
“I learned a lot last season training with the pros and playing for the Athletic,” he said. “My aim is to get a game for Jersey Reds and getting a contract is hopefully the start of me being able to achieve that.”
Director of Rugby Harvey Biljon said: “Harry is a player who we’ve been tracking for some time and it was great that he could spend time with the 1st XV squad last season and get used to that environment.
“He has shown great strength and core skills, but I’ve been most impressed by his attitude – he really wants to develop his game as a professional and is driven to make the most of this opportunity.”
The latest signing will join 15 players from the Reds’ 2019/20 squad, as well as an identical number of new faces unveiled during the past week week. The club has already confirmed the signings of hooker George Edgson, props Ollie Dawe, Jack Higgins and Ciaran Parker, locks Zak Farrance, Shay Kerry and Sean O’Connor, flanker Lewis Wynne, scrum-halves Michael Dowsett and James Elliott, fly-half Sam Leeming and outside backs Jack Roberts, Lesley Klim, Ryan Hutler and Kurt Heatherley.
Top picture by Jacquie Ranieri