Jersey Reds go into their final match of 2019 eyeing the chance to move up the charts in time for Christmas.
Fourth in the Greene King IPA Championship going into the seventh round of this season’s league programme, the Reds hope that more upward progress can be achieved through overcoming visitors London Scottish.
But the home side will be wary of the Exiles’ desire to spoil the party, just as they did in February when an unbeaten run in the league at Stade Santander International of almost a year was ended by a 14-24 defeat. Scottish also won the first league game on home turf by 27-24.
The Exiles and the Reds have met on 18 occasions at this level since 2012; the Reds lead 10-8 overall, although in league matches the Scots hold an 8-6 advantage.
After ringing the changes to his squad during the recent trio of Championship Cup ties, Director of Rugby Harvey Biljon has reverted towards the majority of the players who have featured in the league programme for far.
The starting XV to face Scottish features seven changes from the line-up which began last weekend’s cup defeat at Newcastle. Five of these are in the back, including Harry Morley, TJ Harris and Alec Clarey in the front row, the return of Charlie Beckett in the engine room, and skipper Josh Bainbridge on the flank.
Will Homer and Brendan Cope will start in the half-back berths, while the back five is unchanged.
A festive occasion is planned at the Reds’ home ground, all that’s needed is a match that, like the roast turkey dinner, has all the trimmings.
Jersey Reds 1st XV squad v London Scottish (H) – Greene King IPA Championship, Round 7/22, Stade Santander International, Saturday December 21st 2019, k-o 2pm
Leroy Van Dam
Josh Bainbridge (capt)
Nic Dolly, Roy Godfrey, Leeroy Atalifo, Jake Upfield, Max Argyle; Luc Jones, Aaron Penberthy, George Spencer