The Jersey Reds squad for the 2018/19 continues to take shape, with five more players confirmed today.
Current squad player Jason Worrall has clinched a new deal, and will be joined in next season's squad by four new signings: prop Harry Morley, lock/back row Kyle Hatherell, centre/wing Koch Marx and wing Jack Stapley.
Jason Worrall has made 23 appearances at wing or full-back during his first season with the Reds and scored eight tries, including a hat-trick in the recent win at London Scottish. The 24-year-old formerly played in his native South Africa for Western Province and Maties.
"Jason has grown as a player through the season and I believe he has the potential to improve his game further during the next 12 months," said Head Coach Harvey Biljon.
Harry Morley, 23, signed his first professional contract with Northampton Saints as a teenager and subsequently spent six months playing for Randwick in Sydney. On his return to England he joined Nottingham, where he spent three seasons until summer 2017. After a short spell with Coventry, which included a try in the pre-season friendly against the Reds at Stade Santander International last August, he joined his current team, National 1 side Cambridge, in December 2017.
Kyle Hatherell, who celebrates his 23rd birthday today, is currently playing for Scottish club side Marr in the BT Premiership. He formerly played in his native South Africa at under 19 level for the Pumas and then for the Sharks under 21s.
Koch Marx spent five seasons with South African Currie Cup side Golden Lions, based in Johannesburg, including a period on loan to the Griquas in Kimberley in 2017. Equally comfortable in the outside centre berth or on the wing, the 24-year-old now has the chance to develop his game in the second tier of the English game.
Jack Stapley, 21, was born in Dubai and has spent the last two seasons playing National 1 rugby with Loughborough Students and recently earned selection for the England Students squad. He has also played for the Irish Wolfhounds sevens side, and for Leicester Tigers in the Singha Premiership Rugby Sevens.
Reds' Head Coach Harvey Biljon said: "I'm looking forward to working with Harry, Kyle, Koch and Jack once the squad gathers in June to start pre-season training. I know each of them is relishing the opportunity to play Championship rugby and become established members of our squad."
With these five signings plus the recent departure of James Voss to Leicester Tigers, a total of 28 players are currently confirmed as part of the Reds' squad for 2018/19:
* Max Argyle, back-row
* Leeroy Atalifo, prop
* Rory Bartle, back row
* Mark Best, centre
* Alec Clarey, prop
* Joel Dudley, scrum-half
* George Eastwell, centre
* Roy Godfrey, prop
* Josh Hodson, wing
* Conor Joyce, flanker
* 'Apakuki Ma'afu, centre
* Jack Macfarlane, hooker
* Dave Mckern, lock
* Nick Selway, hooker
* Jerry Sexton, lock
* Jake Upfield, back row/lock
* Jason Worrall, wing/full-back
* Brett Herron (Ulster), fly-half
* Graham Geldenhuys (Sharks), back row
* Kyle Hatherell (Marr), lock/back row
* Koch Marx, (Golden Lions), centre/wing
* Harry Morley, (Cambridge), prop
* Hilton Mudariki (University of Johannesburg), scrum-half
* Aaron Penberthy (Ealing Trailfinders), fly-half
* Sam Rodman (Ealing Trailfinders), prop
* Jack Stapley (Loughborough Students), wing
* Leroy Van Dam (Valley RFC), wing/ full-back
* Janco Venter (Maties), back row
The 2018/19 squad will face three summer games after the Reds' pre-season schedule was recently finalised. French ProD2 side RC Vannes will visit the Island on July 28th, and this will be followed by two August games against English opponents at Stade Santander International: Aviva Premiership side Harlequins on August 11th and Old Elthamiams from National 1 on August 18th.
The current Jersey squad are currently looking for a strong finish to the 2017/18 season, starting with a trip to Leeds this weekend to take on Yorkshire Carnegie in the Greene King IPA Championship. This is followed by back-to-back home games: the league encounter with Nottingham on Saturday April 14th and then the visit of Leinster 'A' for a British & Irish Cup tie, the date and kick-off time for which will be confirmed shortly.
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