The climax to the 2018/19 rugby season takes place tomorrow, with Channel Island rivals Jersey and Guernsey doing battle for one of rugby’s oldest trophies.
The Siam Cup, sponsored by Santander International, will kick off at 4.30pm as the climax of a memorable day’s rugby. For the first time on Siam day, this will feature all four games played on one pitch, starting with the Veteran XVs contesting the Nash Cup at 10.30am, moving on to the Women’s Siam at 12.15pm and the Fallaize Cup encounter between the 2nd XVs at 2pm.
Head Coach Myles Landick has picked a mixture of youth and experience in his 1st XV squad as the host club look to win back the trophy they lost to their green-shirted rivals in 2018 for the first time in a decade – part of a clean-sweep for the Raiders, who won all four games on their home turf last May.
Hooker Nick Selway will skipper the side in his sixth consecutive Siam Cup and final appearance before leaving Jersey. The recipient of the Reds’ top try-scorer award after claiming 12 tries this season, Selway is one of five professional players selected by Landick in line with the three-season eligibility rule agreed between the clubs in 2016.
Selway will pack down alongside props Chris Pople and Ewan Davies, the latter appearing against a side who he represented this season during an injury crisis for the Raiders, while Bryn Edwards makes his Siam Cup debut in the second row alongside Euan Spencer.
The Reds’ back row comprises Jack Macfarlane, switched from his usual hooker role, the welcome return after injury of Tim Corson, and number 8 George Willmott, whose stand-out performances for Jersey Reds Athletic have earned him a pro contract for 2019/20.
Liam Rhodes retains the Siam scrum-half shirt after a try-scoring debut in last year’s 46-30 defeat at Footes Lane, partnering Aaron Penberthy, who will make his third Siam Cup appearance at the end of his fourth season as a Red.
The home side’s midfield combination features two Siam debuts: George Eastwell, another player making his last appearance in Red, and Apakuki Ma’afu, who will add a Jersey ‘cap’ to the three he won for Tonga. Another debutant, Mark Boarer, is selected at wing and will partner Nathan Rogers, while Adam Spencer wears the same number – 15 – as in Guernsey 12 months ago.
There are another three potential debuts for the Reds among the replacements: front row duo George Johnson and Tom Wilson, and flanker Dom Mayo. The bench also features hooker David Felton, who brings a decade’s worth of Siam experience in spite of having only reached his 30th birthday this month, back five forward Harrison Berresford, scrum-half Max Harrington and utility back Simon Johnson.
In addition to the quadruple whammy of rugby action, the host club are planning a host of attractions to enhance the day. A large crowd of former Jersey players will be gathering for a reunion, while there’ll also be a special delivery from the skies as the match ball is delivered by a team of parachutists from Skydive Jersey, made possible by sponsor Santander International, and a pre-match rendition of Man Bieau P’tit Jèrri (“Beautiful Jersey”).
Tickets for the Siam are available in advance via the Eventbrite site, or on the day – season tickets are not valid for the match. On the day, supporters are urged to arrive in good time to enjoy the earlier games and avoid last-minute queues. A range of food and drink outlets will be available around the ground.
Squad line-ups for the Nash, Women’s and Fallaize encounters will be available in the online match-day programme – see THIS LINK
For more news on the Jersey Reds Women, see HERE
Jersey Reds 1st XV squad v Guernsey Raiders (H) – Santander International Siam Cup, Saturday May 11th, Stade Santander International, k-o 4.30pm
* signifies Siam Cup debut
Nick Selway (capt)
David Felton, George Johnson*, Tom Wilson*, Harrison Berresford, Dom Mayo*; Simon Johnson, Max Harrington