Jersey Reds will be wanting to avoid a repetition of one of their unhappier Christmas fixtures when London Scottish rock up to Stade Santander International this Saturday (k-o 3pm).
On their most recent visit to the Island in December 2019, the Exiles pooped the festive party on the Saturday before Christmas with a 10-13 win that snapped a five-game winning run on home turf for the Reds.
Although the two clubs are at opposite ends of the Championship table, Jersey Reds will be wary of their visitors, who have a fine record on their league visits to the Island, winning five times out of eight since 2012.
Overall, including an even split of the eight league games played between the sides at the Athletic Ground, Scottish have nine Championship victories to Jersey’s seven, although the Reds have had the upper hand in cup encounters, winning all four to date. The most recent meeting was at the Athletic Ground in September, with the Reds winning 7-47 against a side returning to action after missing the truncated 2020/21 campaign as a result of Covid-related challenges.
Director of Rugby Harvey Biljon makes just a single change to the starting XV that build up an impressive 29-3 half-time lead at home to Coventry last weekend before eventually winning 29-24.
Fly-half Sam Leeming drops out of the squad after six straight starts and there’s an opportunity for Tom Pittman, who has previously been restricted to four appearances from the bench since joining the Reds from Boroughmuir Bears in Scotland.
Four players are introduced onto the bench by Biljon: props Huw Owen and Jack Higgins, back row man Wes White on his return from injury and new signing Ioan Davies, recently arrived on loan from Welsh region the Dragons and providing cover for the back three.
After completing their home schedule for 2021, the Reds will round out the year on Boxing Day with a trip to Goldington Road to take on Bedford Blues. Following a new year break, the next match will see Doncaster Knights visit the Stade on Saturday January 15th.
Jersey Reds 1st XV squad v London Scottish (H) – RFU Championship match 10/20, Stade Santander International, Saturday December 18th 2021, k-o 3pm (* competitive debut)
Brendan Owen; Ryan Olowofela, Dan Barnes, Jordan Holgate, Will Brown; Tom Pittman, James Elliott.
James Flynn, Eoghan Clarke, Steve Longwell, Sean O’Connor, Macauley Cook, Alex Humfrey, Lewis Wynne (capt), Max Argyle.
Harry Doolan, Huw Owen, Jack Higgins, Tom Everard, Wes White; James Mitchell, Jack Roberts, Ioan Davies*.
Why not get yourself a Hot Pot (Curry or Chilli served with rice) in the supporters marquee £8 per pot.