The push is on

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A year in rugby, though, is a long, long time and Guildford rapidly exited from London I back to London South II in September following a string of poor results.

Now it’s Jersey’s turn to make their bid for promotion but, despite only three wins plus seven defeats to date, Guildford cannot be taken lightly.

‘I think that they copped a few hidings last year and didn’t have enough strength in depth,’ said Jersey coach Barry George.

‘They also had some young backs but I know they’ve been looking forward to coming to Jersey again, once they knew they were almost certain to go down.

‘They’re bringing a second team over, which will make it more like a New Zealand day, one team playing after another.

And they’ve a big pack, including one of the biggest props, a Tongan fellow I think, you’re ever likely to see on a rugby ground.’

That will be a test for the Jersey forwards who go into the game with just one change from last week as Graham Bell, out through injury, is replaced at flanker by Talite Vaioleti whose place in the second row is taken by Ian Henderson, with the highly promising lock Toby Clyde-Smith booked for a spot on the bench if he is fit.

‘Toby came on four minutes into the second half when Graham was injured,’ explained George.

‘He made some good tackles and he’s a real prospect, although he’s got to put some weight on.

But he’s a natural talent; one for the future.

‘Tuesday’s training was more technical than the usual crash and bash style we’ve been playing; a lot quieter than usual.

But Guildford will be a difficult team to beat.

They’ll want to win this game to stop their slide – and they’re bringing a large squad over.’

Collins-Stewart XV: Christian Weald, Ryan Morgan, Sam Tuia, Keiaho Bloomfield, Steve O’Brien; James Cooper, Jonathan Swift; Marcus Nobes, Peter O’Connor, Jon Brennan, John Allo, Ian Henderson, Talite Vaioleti, Latu Maka’afi, Kern Yates.

Replacements: James Brimelow, Toby Clyde-Smith, Jim Milner, Josh Chamier, David Felton.

Other games: Wanderers v Leeds University Old Boys (11 am).

Jersey II v Guildford II, 12.30 pm.

Jersey 1sts v Guildford, 2.15 pm.

All games at St Peter.

Sunday: MITIE Beeches v Les Quennevais (JRA league), 2 pm (LQ).

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