Jersey Reds will want to keep up their Cup pot boiling when they welcome London Scottish to Stade Santander International this Saturday.
It's the third match of the 2017/18 British & Irish Cup, a competition that the Reds reached the final of last season, only to lose by a point to Munster 'A' in Cork.
The current B&I campaign kicked off in October, when Jersey registered maximum points from wins at home to Yorkshire Carnegie (32-3) and away to Dragons Select (7-34). Now they will be looking to keep up the momentum in back-to-back matches against the Exiles.
Head Coach Harvey Biljon has made five changes to the XV which began last Friday's Greene King IPA Championship match against Nottingham at Lady Bay, a ding-dong encounter that finished 19-19 after Nick Selway scored a late try, but Brendan Cope's conversion effort from close to the touchline bounced back off the post.
Selway is one of those promoted from last week's bench, taking the place of Jared Saunders, and will pack down alongside Fijian international Leeroy Atalifo, with Jake Armstrong dropping to the bench. Dave Mckern takes Jerry Sexton's number 4 shirt and will pack down at lock alongside Uili Kolo'ofa'i, while Max Argyle is chosen at flanker for his first start since being injured in September - Conor Joyce moves to the bench.
Jersey's back-line will be without the services of Auguy Slowik, who scored a first-minute try against Nottingham but then sustained a serious injury prior to half-time and was hospitalised for several days before being able to return to the Island. Jason Worrall steps up in the left-wing position.
Lock James Voss and utility back Ellis Abrahams are recalled to duty on Jersey's bench, and there's also an opportunity for hooker Jack Macfarlane, who has waited patiently for an opportunity since featuring in the trip to south Wales in late October.
It's just four weeks since the teams locked horns on the same five vergées of Island turf. The Exiles had their noses in front at half-time of the Friday Night Championship game, but the home side rallied to claim the win by 20-15 and maintain a narrow lead over the Scots in the league table.
Prior to last month's encounter, the two sides had met on a dozen previous occasions, winning six apiece, since Jersey reached the Championship in 2012, a year after the Exiles had also achieved promotion from National 1. The Reds' first league win at this level was over the Scots at St Peter in 2012, but then the next five meetings went the way of the Londoners. The Reds achieved a double in 2015/16, and also gained three wins last season - one in the league and two in the B&I Cup, but arguably the most notable result was a thumping 10-36 win for the Exiles when they visited the Island in October 2016.
Saturday will see a double-header at Stade Santander International, as Jersey Reds Athletic are also at home, taking on Richmond Saxons in a Zoo Shield encounter that will kick off at 11.30am.
The final home game of 2017 will take place in a fortnight's time when Hartpury will visit the Island for a festive cracker of a match that will form the focal point of the Jersey Reds Christmas party. The party starts at 5pm on December 22nd, with kick-off under the Friday Night Lights at 7.45pm.
Jersey Reds squad v London Scottish (H) - British & Irish Cup Pool 3 Round 3/6, Saturday December 8th, Stade Santander International; k-o 3pm
Roy Godfrey (capt)
Jack Macfarlane, Jake Woolmore, Jake Armstrong, James Voss, Conor Joyce; Kieran Hardy, Ellis Abrahams
23 Mar 2023
January lessons show danger of banana skin in SW London