Jersey Reds head to the Richmond Athletic Ground this weekend in search of a third successive Greene King IPA Championship win.
While the visitors have won two of their three league matches so far this season, hosts Richmond will be a fired-up unit looking for their first victory after defeats to three teams at the top end of the early-season table: Bristol, Ealing Trailfinders and Bedford Blues.
Richmond finished 10th of the 11 clubs to complete the Championship course last season, with London Welsh obliged to withdraw from the league in January and Rotherham Titans propping up the table. Reaching the second tier in 2016 after taking the National One title was the latest promotion in the south-west London club's 16-year march back up the league ladder after being forced into administration and giving up their Premier League status in 1999.
Fixtures between the Reds and Richmond book-ended the 2016/17 season. Last September Jersey scored seven tries at the RAG and won 16-41; the Easter return fixture on the Island was a closer-run affair, with Ross Adair's 77th-minute interception sealing a 28-17 victory for the home side.
The two clubs had previously met in two league campaigns. In 2002/03, Richmond were champions of London Three South-West, defeating the Reds 3-32 at St Peter and 30-13 at the RAG 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 in London.
Jersey Reds Head Coach Harvey Biljon has made three changes to the starting XV from the line-up who began the 19-13 win over Cornish Pirates at Stade Santander International last Friday. One new face in the backs sees a competitive debut for summer signing Josh Hodson on the wing, with Jason Worrall continuing to occupy the full-back berth he acquired following an injury to skipper Scott van Breda in the warm-up prior to the Pirates match.
The pack sees two further changes: Jake Woolmore starts at loose-head, with Roy Godfrey (pictured below after scoring a try against the Pirates) reverting to the bench, and James Voss returns in the second row in place of Dave McKern. Hooker Jared Saunders will skipper the side.
Five Jersey replacements retain their bench spots from the previous game, with the additional places taken by Godfrey and Seb Nagle-Taylor, the latter selected in place of the injured Max Argyle.
The two clubs will meet at 2nd team level as well this Saturday, with Jersey Reds Athletic at home to Richmond Vikings at 3pm. The next Championship action for the 1st XV at Stade Santander International is on Saturday September 30th, with Bedford Blues the visitors - kick-off is at 3pm and advance tickets are available via the Eventbrite site.
Jersey Reds squad v Richmond FC (A) - Greene King IPA Championship, Round 4/22, Saturday September 23rd, Richmond Athletic Ground; k-o 2.30pm
Jared Saunders (capt)
Nick Selway, Roy Godfrey, Leeroy Atalifo, Rory Bartle, Seb Nagle-Taylor; Joel Dudley, Oli Bryant
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