Saving the toughest test of their trio of pre-season games until last, Jersey Reds will tackle Aviva Premiership side Worcester Warriors at St Peter tomorrow (Saturday - kick-off 2.30pm).
The match against Worcester, who were 10th in last season's Premiership and will include a number of internationals in their squad, will evoke memories of the 2014/15 season, when the sides contested two thrilling encounters in the Greene King IPA Championship before the Warriors subsequently earned promotion via the play-offs. Jersey went down 32-29 at Sixways but then derailed Worcester's 24-match unbeaten run at St Peter with a 23-21 win sealed by Aaron Penberthy's late drop goal from 45 metres.
Maintaining his pledge to share pre-season game-time among members of his 33-man squad, Reds' Head Coach Harvey Biljon has shaken up his squad, with just two players from the starting XV against Ampthill last weekend retaining their places - full-back Jack Cuthbert and number 8 Nick Haining.
Jordan Davies is set to make his Jersey debut after joining the club from Rotherham Titans over the summer, and will partner former New Zealand international Regan King in the Reds' midfield.
Four players are set to play their first rugby of the new season following injury or suspension: wing Tua Otto, scrum-half Sami Fisilau and flanker Gary Graham in the starting line-up, and Uili Kolo'ofa'i from the bench - the back-five forward is one of 10 replacements named by Biljon.
With club captain Pierce Phillips granted leave to miss the game in order to travel to his brother's wedding, flanker James Freeman will skipper the team for the first time.
The Worcester match is the conclusion of a three-match pre-season series for the Reds that has also included wins over National One sides Coventry (47-5) and Ampthill (35-22). The Greene King IPA Championship season starts on the first weekend of September, when the Reds travel to London to take on Richmond; the first home league game of the season, when Bedford Blues will be the visitors, takes place on Saturday September 10th.
Tickets for the pre-season matches, as well as membership and season ticket packages for supporters for the 2016/17 season, plus a full list of confirmed fixtures to date, are available via the links below:
Jersey Reds squad v Worcester Warriors (H) - Pre-season, Saturday August 20th, St Peter, k-o 2.30pm
James Freeman (capt)
Nick Selway, Jake Woolmore, Marc Tampin, James Voss, Uili Kolo'ofa'i, James Doyle; Kieran Hardy, Sam Katz, George Eastwell, Rich Lane
21 Sep 2023
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