Stung by Cornish Pirates and dumped out of the Championship Cup on home turf last weekend, Jersey Reds are determined to get their season back on track.
The Reds take on London Scottish at Stade Santander International tomorrow (kick-off at 2pm), keen to kick-start their push for the best-possible finish in the Greene King IPA Championship, as well as gaining revenge for defeat in September’s league encounter against the Exiles.
Leading 10-24 at half-time, the visitors to the RAG failed to fire after the break and returned to Jersey after a 27-24 defeat.
Director of Rugby Harvey Biljon has made a total of seven changes to his starting XV from the line-up that began the Championship Cup quarter-final against the Pirates last weekend. The Reds were never behind in the tie until the visitors snatched victory by 13-17 with a 75th-minute try.
The stand-out name in the selection is the welcome return of flanker Conor Joyce after a four-month injury absence dating back to the trip to Doncaster in early October. Joyce is one of five changes to the forward pack, and will pack down alongside Kyle Hatherell and Rory Bartle in the back row.
There’s also an all-new front row, with Harry Morley, Nick Selway and Sam Rodman given chances to impress from the start.
Scrum-half Liam Howley will get his first start since moving to the Island from New Zealand a month ago, and George Eastwell will start at centre. Both the replaced players, Will Homer and Mark Best, drop to the bench, where there are also opportunities for hooker Jack Macfarlane and prop Zei Alexis.
The Exiles and the Reds have met on 17 occasions at this level since 2012; the Reds lead 10-7 overall, although in league matches the Scots hold a narrow 7-6 advantage. The Scots Championship Cup campaign this season ended in disappointment, with five defeats from six outings, including losses at Jersey hands by 41-10 at Stade Santander International and 9-15 in London.
After a glut of home matches in recent weeks, the Reds will travel to Yorkshire Carnegie next weekend, while the next game at Stade Santander International will be the Friday Night Lights encounter with Doncaster Knights on March 1st. Advance tickets available HERE
Tickets for the Reds v Scottish match are available HERE
Link to the online programme – free to download and packed with info, linked video content, stats & pics – see HERE
The team-sheet is available HERE
Jersey Reds 1st XV squad v London Scottish (A) – Greene King IPA Championship Round 14/22, Saturday February 9th, Stade Santander International, k-o 2pm
Leroy Van Dam
Jerry Sexton (capt)
Jack Macfarlane, Roy Godfrey, Ziana Alexis, Charlie Beckett, Janco Venter; Will Homer, Mark Best