After claiming their first league win of 2017/18 at the fourth attempt last Friday, Jersey Reds will be looking to back up that result when they travel to Castle Park in Doncaster this weekend.
The Reds racked up five tries against Yorkshire Carnegie on their home turf in the 36-19 win, easing the disappointment of narrow defeats in each of their opening three games in the Greene King IPA Championship.
Having resisted any urge to make wholesale changes during the early weeks of the league season, Reds Head Coach Harvey Biljon once again sticks with the vast majority of his winning squad from the Carnegie contest.
There are two changes to the starting XV – Mark Best is back in the centres, alongside James Newey, with Apakuki Ma’afu missing out. And at second row, Charlie Beckett will make his first league start for the club he joined this summer after four consecutive appearances as a replacement. The former Gloucester man comes in for Dave McKern and will pack down in the engine room alongsde Jerry Sexton.
The Reds’ bench has two changes – prop Sam Rodman comes in for Cameron Holenstein, and Best’s re-introduction to the starting XV opens the way for Brett Herron’s return after missing the Carnegie game.
Matches between the Reds and the Knights have historically been closely contested, and the British & Irish Cup quarter-final in March this year was the first time in 12 meetings that the losing side had been more than seven points adrift. Jersey won 22-10 that day, and also claimed a victory at Castle Park on the last day of the Championship season, surviving a late comeback from the hosts to win 26-30.
Overall the Reds have six wins in the fixture to Doncaster’s five, with two games drawn.
While Jersey Athletic have a weekend off, the Reds Womens XV will return to action with an away trip to Basingstoke on Sunday (k-o 1pm).
Jersey Reds 1st XV squad v Doncaster Knights (A) – Greene King IPA Championship Round 6/22*, Saturday October 6th, Castle Park, k-o 2.30pm
Leroy Van Dam
Roy Godfrey (capt)
Nick Selway, Harry Morley, Sam Rodman, Rory Bartle, Jake Upfield; Calum Waters, Brett Herron.
* Round 3: Reds v London Irish – rescheduled from Sept 15th to Nov 3rd