Ahead of the final round of fixtures in the Greene King IPA Championship this weekend, Jersey Reds can confirm details about which members of the current squad will remain with the club for the 2021/22 season.
With pre-season training set to start in early July, a total of 21 of the current crop of 30 contracted players will be remaining with the club next season. At the same time, nine members of the squad will be leaving the club.
Those players currently on existing permanent contracts who will return in July are:
Hooker: Eoghan Clarke, Harry Doolan, TJ Harris, Jack Macfarlane
Prop: Roy Godfrey, Jack Higgins, Ciaran Parker, Dan Richardson
Second Row: Macauley Cook, Zak Farrance, Sean O’Connor
Back Row: Max Argyle, Tim Grey, Lewis Wynne
Scrum-half: James Elliott
Fly-half: Bader Pretorius, Brendan Cope
Centre: Dan Barnes, Jack Roberts
Wing/ full-back: Ryan Hutler, Brendan Owen
Two players who are currently on loan will also be moving to permanent contracts: prop Adam Nicol from Glasgow Warriors and full-back Scott Van Breda from Worcester Warriors.
There will also be a welcome return to the squad for fly-half Sam Leeming, who stepped away last September following a diagnosis of Non-Hodgkins lymphoma, but has been through treatment and is now working his way back to fitness.
The following members of the existing permanent squad will be leaving at the end of the season:
Hooker: George Edgson
Prop: Zei Alexis, Ollie Dawe
Lock/ Back row: Rory Bartle, Josh Bainbridge
Centre: Apakuki Ma’afu, George Spencer
Wing/ full-back: Tom Williams, Lesley Klim
The Reds are also set to bid farewell to six players who are currently on loan: Bath Rugby trio Darren Atkins, Max Green and Will Vaughan, Cam Nordli Kelemeti from Newcastle Falcons and the Worcester Warriors pair of James Scott and Matti Williams.
This weekend’s game against Cornish Pirates will also be the last one for Head of Athletic Performance Jim Molony. As announced in February, the Irishman will leave the Island after six years to take up a new role with Benetton Treviso, one of the Italian side in the Guinness PRO14.
Director of Rugby Harvey Biljon said: “I’d like to thank all of those who are leaving us for their contribution throughout their time here, whether it’s been a short-term stay or several seasons.
“It’s been a very bizarre season, and some of those leaving haven’t been able to experience Jersey in a non-Covid environment, which is a shame but unavoidable.
“It’s difficult to pick out individuals, but in terms of long service, Kuki Ma’afu and Rory Bartle (pictured below) have played around 150 games for Jersey between them. Together with Jim Molony they have played a massive part in the club becoming an established force in the Championship – I’d like to wish them, and everyone else who’s leaving, all the best for the future.’
Biljon said he expects to announce several new signings during the coming weeks.
The final league game of the truncated 2020/21 programme will see the Reds host the Pirates at Stade Santander International this Saturday, with kick-off at 3pm. Tickets for the match are available online [via THIS LINK] and must be purchased in advance, with the club expecting a bumper crowd to round off the season.
Pic credits: Jacquie Ranieri, Lauren Trachy & Ollie Pinel