Jersey Reds will be striving to snap a three-game losing streak when they run out in front of their home crowd at St Peter tomorrow. The Reds face London Scottish in a Greene King IPA Championship match that kicks off at 3pm.
After winning their first two league matches of 2016/17, Jersey lost by five points at Ealing Trailfinders, by a single point at home to Nottingham and then last Saturday completed an unwanted treble in going down 23-18 to London Welsh at Old Deer Park.
Both home and away clubs have similar records in the Championship so far this season, with two wins from five outings so far. A larger harvest of bonus points sees the Reds in sixth place in the league table with 12 points, four places above the Exiles (10 points).
Last season the Reds claimed a double over Scottish. On Good Friday a 77th-minute penalty try and the subsequent conversion were enough to give Jersey a 22-20 win at St Peter, having previously won 5-20 at the Richmond Athletic Ground thanks to tries from Ross Adair and Gary Graham, plus 10 points from the boot of Brendan Cope.
The 2015/16 win double broke a five-game losing streak for the Reds against Scottish, although prior to this Jersey won 20-17 at St Peter in October 2012, the club's first win in the Championship.
Head Coach Harvey Biljon has made five alterations to this weekend's starting XV from the line-up who faced London Welsh last weekend.
Most of the changes are up front, covering all three rows of the scrum. Hooker Jack Macfarlane comes in for his first league start for his new club, while Marc Thomas is back at loosehead prop to pack down alongside him. Tongan international Uili Kolo'ofa'i abandons his usual role as an impact replacement and starts at second row ahead of Dave McKern, while there's another switch at flanker, with Max Argyle coming in and James Doyle reverting to the bench.
A lone change among the back-line is at fly-half, with Cope returning in place of Sam Katz.
Jersey's bench includes long-serving scrum-half Joel Dudley, who is once again in line to make his 50th competitive appearance for the Reds, having been an unused replacement at Old Deer Park last weekend.
The 1st XV Championship clash will be the second instalment of a rugby double-header at St Peter, where earlier in the day Jersey Reds Athletic will take on London Scottish Highlanders in a Zoo Shield match. The home side will be looking for another win on home turf to accompany the 35-34 thriller over Blackheath Heathens two weeks ago. The early match kicks off at 10.30am.
Jersey Reds squad v London Scottish (H) - Greene King IPA Championship, Saturday October 8th, St Peter; k-o 3pm
James Freeman (capt)
Nick Selway, Sean McCarthy, Mark Tampin, Dave McKern, James Doyle; Joel Dudley, Jordan Davies
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