It may only be the third round of this season’s Championship Cup, but there’s plenty at stake for both Doncaster Knights and Jersey Reds this weekend.
Going into Saturday’s game at Castle Park, both sides have won one match, against Hartpury, and been defeated by Newcastle Falcons. This weekend’s winner will have a great chance of joining the Falcons in the knock-out stages, while the loser will have ground to make up should they also wish to make the last eight.
Director of Rugby Harvey Biljon makes four changes to his starting XV from the line-up who began the 13-24 win at Hartpury University last Saturday. In the backs, George Spencer comes in at centre in place of James Newey, while Will Homer gets the nod at scrum-half ahead of Luc Jones.
Among the forwards, Roy Godfrey will start at loose-head prop, with Harry Morley dropping to the bench, while Kyle Hatherell is selected in the second row in place of Alex Thompson.
The Reds’ eight-man bench incorporates five of last week’s incumbents, with Morley, Jones and second row Charlie Beckett added to the mix.
The Knights will be anxious to make up for two heavy defeats at Jersey hands last season. The Reds were also at Castle Park on the first weekend of October in 2018, and racked up seven tries to eventually win 22-47. Five months later, the Knights were at Stade Santander International on the first Friday of March, and were stunned by a 29-point first half salvo from their hosts, battling back into the game after the break before it eventually finished 41-21.
Overall in the encounters since Jersey reached the Championship in 2012, the Reds have eight wins in the fixture to Doncaster’s five, with two games drawn.
On their return from South Yorkshire, the Reds will prepare for their opening match in this season’s Greene King IPA Championship. Coventry will visit the Island on Saturday October 12th – the game kicks off at 3pm, with a fanzone marquee for supporters showing the Ireland v Samoa World Cup game beforehand (kick-off at 11.45am).
Jersey Reds 1st XV squad v Doncaster Knights (A) – Championship Cup Pool 2, Round 3/6, Saturday October 5th, Castle Park, k-o 2.30pm
Leroy Van Dam
Max Argyle (capt)
TJ Harris, Harry Morley, Zei Alexis, Charlie Beckett, Jake Upfield; Luc Jones, Brendan Cope, Jack Stapley