Continuing plans to build their squad for next season, Jersey Reds have announced the signings of lock forwards Liam Hallam-Eames and Alex Thompson.
The duo are the first new recruits for the 2019/20 campaign, augmenting a core of 25 players from the existing squad whose contracts extend beyond the end of the current season.
Thompson, 23, attended Queen's University in the city of his birth, Belfast, captaining the 1st XV in 2016/17 and also representing Ireland under 20s in the Six Nations and Junior World Cup in 2015. Having been a member of the Ulster Academy for three seasons, he moved to Dublin in 2017 and played for Terenure College, before returning to Northern Ireland in the following year and becoming part of the Ulster senior squad.
Hallam-Eames, who is also 23, was born in Wellington, New Zealand, and attended Palmerston North High School. A triallist for NZ under 20s, also known as the 'Baby Blacks', he spent three seasons playing Mitre Cup rugby for Manawatu Turbos, and was also part of the development squad for Wellington-based Super Rugby outfit the Hurricanes.
Director of Rugby Harvey Biljon said he was looking forward to working with both new recruits.
"Alex and Liam have both shown great potential in the early years of their rugby careers, and now have the chance to progress to the next level with an established Championship club," he said. "I'm looking forward to seeing them integrate with their new team-mates once they get to Jersey this summer and get stuck into pre-season training."
The Reds' immediate priority is the resumption of their season on home turf this Friday. Doncaster Knights are the visitors for the floodlit game at Stade Santander International, which kicks off at 7.45pm. Advance tickets are available at the reduced rate of £15 for adult non-members if purchased online by 7.45pm on Wednesday via the Eventbrite site.
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