A much-changed Jersey squad will be seeking to get the Red bus back on the road when they take on Richmond at the Athletic Ground this weekend.
Saturday’s Greene King IPA Championship clash, which kicks off at 2.15pm, comes a week after one of the Reds’ most disappointing results of the season, a 7-10 home defeat against the side lying bottom of the league table.
Results last weekend meant that Bedford Blues were able to wipe out the Reds’ advantage in the quest for third place in the final table, with the two sides now only separated by Jersey’s better points difference.
Director of Rugby Harvey Biljon has made six changes to his starting XV, the majority among the back-line. Liam Howley and Aaron Penberthy provide an all-new half-back pairing, with Will Homer moving to the bench and Brett Herron switching to full-back in place of Leroy Van Dam. Jason Worrall returns on the wing in place of James Newey.
In the forwards, Conor Joyce earns a start at flanker in place of Rory Bartle, while recent signing Liam Hallam-Eames (pictured above) comes in for Charlie Beckett in the second row – the New Zealander’s first start after a short cameo from the bench last weekend. The Reds’ bench includes the return of lock Dave McKern, plus opportunities for George Eastwell, who will cover the back-line, and back row man Jake Upfield.
Richmond and the Reds have met in four previous league campaigns, dating back to 2002/03, when Richmond were champions of London 3 South-West (level 7) and did the double over Jersey as part of a run of 83 successive league wins. In 2010/11 it was Jersey who gained promotion from National Two South – honours between the two sides finished even, with Jersey winning 29-9 at St Peter having lost 25-14 at the RAG.
Since Richmond reached the Championship in 2016/17, the Reds have won four of the five league fixtures between the sides, as well as a brace of Championship Cup encounters earlier this season. The Championship match between the sides at Stade Santander International in October was a competitive affair, with the visitors battling back into the game before eventually going down 28-21.
The two clubs will also do battle at 2nd XV level, with Richmond Vikings travelling to take on Jersey Reds Athletic in a Zoo Shield encounter. Saturday’s game at the Stade kicks off at 12noon.
The next 1st XV home game, after a free weekend to start April, will be the eagerly-awaited visit of Ealing Trailfinders, who are currently one place above the Reds in the league table. Advance tickets for the match on Saturday April 13th – which kicks off at 2pm – are now available through the Eventbrite site
Jersey Reds 1st XV squad v Richmond (A) – Greene King IPA Championship Round 19/22, Saturday March 30th, Richmond Athletic Ground, k-o 2.15pm
Jerry Sexton (capt)
Jack Macfarlane, Harry Morley, Sam Rodman, Dave McKern, Jake Upfield; Will Homer, George Eastwell