Jersey Reds travel to the Richmond Athletic Ground to take on London Scottish this Saturday, looking to maintain their promising early-season form.
Whilst expressing happiness with the performance of his selected players in their opening league outings, which featured bonus-point wins over Ampthill and Coventry, Director of Rugby Harvey Biljon makes multiple changes to his squad in recognition of the additional options available beyond the 25 players to have featured so far.
Nine new faces come in to a starting XV that was unchanged across the opening brace of games, while the overall squad of 23 features five players set for their first competitive action of 2022/23.
Huw Owen and Eoghan Clarke join Steve Longwell in the front row, while James Scott will play his first competitive game for the Reds since his loan period from Worcester warriors last year, having made a permanent switch to the Island this summer. Scott partners Hamish Bain in the second row, while the lone back row change sees Max Argyle in for James Dun.
The back-line features James Elliott swapping with James Mitchell at number 9, the return of Will Brown in place of Tomi Lewis at left-wing, and a new centre partnership featuring Charlie Powell and Dan Barnes.
Prop Monty Weatherby is the sole survivor among the replacements from the eight-man bench selected to face Coventry, with Brendan Owen coming in for what should be his first competitive action of the new campaign.
The Reds will be looking to square up the league ‘series’ against the Exiles, having won eight Championship encounters to their opponents’ nine since the sides first met in October 2012, when a 20-17 Jersey win was the newly-promoted club’s first at level two. Last season featured a league double for the Island side, who started their campaign with a 7-47 win at the RAG and followed it up with a 31-13 home win in December.
The Reds also claimed victories in a brace of Championship Cup encounters against the Scots last season, and have won all six cup ties between the sides.
On their return from London, Biljon’s squad will shift their sights to their next home match, with Cornish Pirates visiting Stade Santander International on Friday September 30th for a game that will kick off at 7.15pm. Tickets are available in advance via THIS LINK.
This weekend also sees the amateur Jersey RFC side take on Petersfield on Saturday at 1.30pm on home turf, although the match will be a friendly one with the visitors being short of numbers and having conceded the scheduled league fixture.
Jersey Reds squad v London Scottish (A) – 2022/23 RFU Championship game 3/22, Richmond Athletic Ground, Saturday September 24th, k-o 2pm
Starting backs (15-9)
Scott Van Breda; Ben Woollett, Charlie Powell, Dan Barnes, Will Brown; Russell Bennett, James Elliott.
Starting forwards (1-8)
Huw Owen, Eoghan Clarke, Steve Longwell, Hamish Bain, James Scott, Max Argyle, Lewis Wynne (c), Alun Lawrence.
James Hadfield, Sam Grahamslaw, Monty Weatherby, Macauley Cook, James Dun; James Mitchell, Alex McHenry, Brendan Owen.
Why not come a chillout in the supporters marquee before the game, A fully stocked bar and food is available, seated and standing tables, on a first come first served basis and a great place to meet the Reds supporters.