Jersey Reds will be seeking to ease the pain of successive last-gasp defeats by returning to winning ways when they take on London Welsh at Old Deer Park tomorrow (k-o 2pm).
After starting the Greene King IPA Championship season with wins over Richmond and Bedford Blues, the Reds suffered defeat at Ealing Trailfinders' hands by 20-15 at Vallis Way and then lost 21-22 thanks to a Nottingham try in the last play of the game at St Peter last Friday.
Travelling to London for the third time in five weekends, the Reds starting XV shows seven changes from the line-up who began last Friday's game against Nottingham. The back-line sees the return of scrum-half Kieran Hardy, centre Lewis Robling and wing George Watkins, with Ross Adair switching to full-back at the expense of Jack Cuthbert.
The Reds' pack features a new-look front row combination, with props Sean McCarthy and Jake Armstrong making their first starts of the season alongside hooker Joe Buckle. Also starting his first game in 2016/17 is flanker James Doyle. Doyle replaces Max Argyle, who is one of five forwards on the visitors' bench; covering the backs are the half-back duo of Brendan Cope and Joel Dudley - the latter is set to make his debut for the season in what would also be the long-serving scrum-half's 50th competitive appearance for Jersey.
The two clubs have met on four previous occasions in the Championship, with Jersey yet to taste victory. Last season Chris Elder's last-play try at St Peter, converted by Olly Barkley, broke the deadlock and sealed a 14-21 win, while Welsh also claimed the spoils in another tight tussle at Old Deer Park (14-8). Two seasons previously, the Exiles won 26-33 in a close-fought battle at St Peter, but claimed a comprehensive 45-7 win at the Kassam Stadium on their way to taking the 2013/14 Championship title and winning promotion.
The Reds have back-to-back matches against London-based Exile clubs to start October - the following Saturday London Scottish will visit St Peter. The game kicks off at 3pm, with Jersey Athletic also in action earlier in the day, hosting London Scottish Highlanders in a Zoo Shield match at 10.30am.
Jersey Reds squad v London Welsh (A) - Greene King IPA Championship, Saturday October 1st, Old Deer Park; k-o 2pm
James Freeman (capt)
Nick Selway, Marc Thomas, Mark Tampin, Uili Kolo'ofa'i, Max Argyle; Joel Dudley, Brendan Cope
17 Nov 2022
Old rivals both seek to stretch start-of-season winning run to 10 games