After feeling a little harshly treated by the scoreboard in last weekend’s outing against league leaders Newcastle, Jersey Reds are looking to return to winning ways when Nottingham visit Stade Santander International.
The Reds left Kingston Park empty-handed in spite of contributing to an entertaining contest that was intriguingly poised at 14-apiece after 50 minutes but eventually finished 42-19 to the Falcons.
The fluctuations of early-season league rankings mean that seven days after contesting a top-of-the-table encounter, the Reds are going into a mid-table meeting: sixth plays host to seventh, with both teams having won two of their four games so far and separated by just a single point in the Greene King IPA Championship.
The Reds’ squad sees a number of changes, with five new faces coming into the starting XV. Four of these are in the pack, with front row rotation seeing props Roy Godfrey and Alec Clarey coming in, while Rory Bartle is brought in at second row. Bartle displaces Kyle Hatherell, who moves to blindside, while Max Argyle is recalled on the opposite flank and will captain the side.
The lone change outside the pack sees Luc Jones coming at scrum-half, with Will Homer dropping to the bench. Also among the replacements will be the Reds’ new signing Alex Morgan, the 19-year-old winger who arrived this week on loan from Gloucester.
Nottingham and the Reds have already met twice in 2019. In the first match after the Christmas and New Year break, the Reds scored five converted tries and eventually won 41-16. The return encounter at Lady Bay at Easter was a far closer affair – the hosts led 21-8 early in the second half, but were pegged back by two Jersey tries before going on to complete a 24-20 victory.
Overall the sides have met 14 times at this level since 2012, with Jersey having eight wins to the Green-and-Whites’ five, and one draw – a 19-19 game at Lady Bay in December 2017.
Jersey Reds Athletic will travel to Old Elthamians on Saturday for a Raging Bull Shield match that will kick off at 12.30pm, while Jersey Reds women are in action on home turf on Sunday when they entertain Tonbridge Juddians at 2pm.
Jersey Reds 1st XV squad v Nottingham Rugby (H) – Greene King IPA Championship Round 5/22, Stade Santander International, k-o 3pm
Max Argyle (capt)
TJ Harris, Harry Morley, Leeroy Atalifo, Jake Upfield, Josh Bainbridge; Will Homer, George Spencer, Alex Morgan