Jersey Reds face the final home league game of the 2017/18 season this Saturday, with Nottingham the visitors to Stade Santander International.
The Reds will be looking to bounce back from defeat in their most recent Greene King IPA Championship outing against Yorkshire Carnegie, and also have one eye on the quest for silverware, with a British & Irish Cup semi-final against Leinster 'A' to follow seven days later.
The Reds' starting XV to face Nottingham shows seven changes to the line-up which began last Sunday's game at Emerald Headingley, a 26-21 defeat that was just the second reverse in 10 league outings. Four of the changes are in the backs: George Eastwell and James Newey team up in the centres as the regular pairing of Apakuki Ma'afu and Mark Best miss out with minor injuries, there's rotation at scrum-half, with Joel Dudley starting ahead of Kieran Hardy, and the return from injury of Auguy Slowik; the ex-Bristol wing, who replaces Jason Worrall, last played in the previous encounter against the Green & Whites on December 1st, scoring his first try for the Reds before being forced off injured.
There's also a change in each row of the pack: Jared Saunders at hooker, Uili Kolo'ofa'i in the second row and a first Championship start for Jake Upfield, who is named at flanker.
The Jersey bench features six players who have been regular starters in recent weeks, plus an opportunity for wing Josh Hodson.
The 19-all draw at Lady Bay in December was the 11th match-up between the sides since Jersey reached the Championship in 2012. Previously Jersey had six wins to Nottingham's four, with seven of the 10 matches being won by the away side, including both of last season's encounters: a 21-22 win at St Peter for Nottingham in September 2016, sealed by Tom Heard's late try and Lawrence Rayner's last-kick conversion; and then a Jersey win at Lady Bay in January 2017, when the Reds recovered from an early 11-0 deficit to win 19-24.
Jersey Reds Athletic have an away-day this Saturday, travelling to south-west London to take on Richmond Saxons in a Zoo Shield encounter, kicking off at 12.30pm.
Jersey Reds squad v Nottingham Rugby (H) - Greene King IPA Championship Round 21/22, Saturday April 14th, Stade Santander International, k-o 3pm
Scott Van Breda (co-capt)
Roy Godfrey (co-capt)
Nick Selway, Jake Woolmore, Jake Armstrong, Rory Bartle, Conor Joyce; Kieran Hardy, Auguy Slowik.
18 May 2023
DoR pays tribute to leaving players after title-winning season