Plenty is at stake when Jersey Reds and Ulster 'A' contest their final pool match of this season's British & Irish Cup.
The Northern Irish visitors head pool 1 by just a point ahead of the final weekend. The winners of Saturday's match at St Peter will top the group and is guaranteed a home quarter-final in March; the losers will be seeking to muster a losing bonus point or two and know that they could be eliminated if other results go against them.
The Reds are looking to at least emulate last season's cup run - this included a dramatic win at Doncaster in the final pool match, a gritty quarter-final triumph at Bedford and finally an agonising 33-32 semi-final defeat to Yorkshire Carnegie at Headingley.
Ulster 'A' won the first encounter against the Reds this season with a 19-6 success in Belfast, and will be keen to reach the last eight for the first time since 2011.
Jersey and Ulster's 'A' side, formerly known as the Ravens, met in the B&I in 2013/14. The Northern Irishmen won 24-19 at Ravenhill before the Reds gained revenge with a 37-19 bonus point victory at St Peter.
Both sides had big wins in round 5; Ulster defeated London Scottish 38-21 at the Kingspan Stadium (formerly Ravenhill) in Belfast, while the Reds scored eight tries in overwhelming Cardiff Blues Select 10-55 at The Wern, home of Merthyr RFC.
Head Coach Harvey Biljon makes two changes to his starting XV from the trip to Wales. James Freeman returns to the starting line-up at flanker, with Max Argyle reverting to the bench, while there's a start at fly-half for Callum Sheedy (pictured below), signed last week from Bristol on a dual registration agreement. This means Sam Katz will take a place on the bench, which also includes the return of Aussie lock Dave McKern, primed for his first action since New Year's Day.
The Reds will return to Greene King IPA Championship action on the final weekend of January, when they travel to Nottingham on Sunday January 29th. The next scheduled action at St Peter is the match against London Welsh on Saturday February 4th, kicking off at 2pm.
For a more detailed preview, including analysis of the B&I standings and permutations for the quarter-finals, see HERE
Jersey Reds squad v Ulster 'A' (H) - British & Irish Cup, Pool 1, Saturday January 20th, St Peter; k-o 2pm
Pierce Phillips (capt)
Joe Buckle, Jake Woolmore, Jake Armstrong, Dave McKern, Max Argyle; Joel Dudley, Sam Katz.
23 Mar 2023
January lessons show danger of banana skin in SW London