Jersey Reds have strengthened their squad for the second half of the season by recruiting scrum-half Liam Howley.
The 22-year-old, who has agreed a deal until May 2020, hails from Invercargill in the South Island of New Zealand but is English-qualified through his Mother's birth in Hayes, Middlesex; his former clubs include Southland Stags and Southern RFC, and he was part of the development squad for Super Rugby side the Highlanders. He appeared for the Highlanders in an exhibition match against Racing 92 in Hong Kong in 2016, played for New Zealand Barbarians Schools and was a triallist for New Zealand Under 20.
Reds' Head Coach Harvey Biljon said: "Liam's talent was recommended via contacts in New Zealand and now he has a chance to take his career to the next level in a full-time professional environment. He's impressed in training so far and will add depth to our squad at an important stage of the season."
Liam Howley said: “I'm really grateful for the opportunity to play in Jersey and to bring some of my skills to the team. I am also excited about the learnings I will take while I am here and which I hope will enable me to grow as a player.”
Howley's arrival follows the departure of on-loan Harlequins scrum-half Calum Waters, who left the Island in December to return to London for family reasons.
The Reds' new signing is eligible for selection for this Saturday's Greene King IPA Championship clash against Bedford Blues at Stade Santander International, which kicks off at 2pm. With both sides locked together on points - Bedford the higher-ranked on games won - this is one of the most eagerly-awaited games on the Island for some time. Advance tickets (priced £15 for adult non-members) are available by booking online with the Eventbrite site by 2pm on Thursday. Places in the pre-match lunch in the supporters marquee are also available via Eventbrite - £10 per person for two courses.
Why not get yourself a Hot Pot (Curry or Chilli served with rice) in the supporters marquee £8 per pot.