An array of injuries across the Jersey Reds' squad has caused selection headaches for management in the build-up to the club's second match of this season British & Irish Cup. The Cardiff Blues Premiership Select are the visitors for the Friday Night Lights encounter at St Peter, which kicks off at 7.45pm.
Head Coach Harvey Biljon has enlisted the services of two players from Jersey Reds Athletic, the Island club's second team: hooker and former 1st team player David Felton will be joined by prop Chris Pople among the Reds' replacements. Both players featured in May's Siam Cup victory over Guernsey, while Felton's most recent league action for Jersey was in the Greene King IPA Championship game against Cornish Pirates in March 2014.
And Alex Rae is dusting off his boots and picking up a playing career that originally finished at the end of last season, soon after he was appointed as Assistant Coach.
Both sides will be looking for a win to kick-start their B&I campaign after opening round losses. The Blues were 21-12 ahead of visitors London Scottish at the Arms Park early in the second half, but eventually lost 21-26 to the Exiles. The Reds travelled to Shaw's Bridge in Belfast to take on Ulster 'A' and were defeated 19-6 by a side that included international duo Tommy Bowe and Dan Tuohy.
Jersey's injury list lengthened significantly as a result of the trip to Northern Ireland. The lack of availability across the squad means that just four backs and four forwards who started last Friday's match in Belfast will be in the starting XV this week, with seven new faces plus a number of positional switches.
In the back-line, Sam Katz will switch from fly-half to full-back, with Jordan Davies and Alex Cuthbert moving to the wing berths. George Eastwell stays in situ at inside centre, with Regan King outside him, while the starting half-backs are Brendan Cope and Sami Fisilau.
The two Jakes, Woolmore and Armstrong, will pack down in the front row either side of hooker Jack Macfarlane. Dave McKern comes in at second row alongside James Voss, and in the back-row Rae will slot in alongside skipper James Freeman and Nick Haining.
Two Welshmen - prop Marc Thomas and scrum-half Kieran Hardy - are on the Reds' bench for the clash against the Blues from their homeland, alongside Athletic duo Felton and Pople, Uili Kolo'ofa'i, Max Argyle and another scrum-half, Joel Dudley.
Jersey Reds Athletic are on their travels this weekend, travelling to Bedfordshire on Saturday to take on Ampthill in a Zoo Shield fixture that kicks off at 1.30pm.
Jersey Reds squad v Cardiff Blue Premiership Select (H) - British & Irish Cup, Friday October 21st, St Peter; k-o 7.45pm
Late changes marked #
Joel Dudley #
James Freeman (capt)
David Felton, Marc Thomas, Chris Pople, Uili Kolo'ofa'i, Max Argyle; Kieran Hardy, Sami Fisilau #
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