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Rugby: Jersey announce two new signings

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JERSEY RFC have announced the acquisition of two new signings this morning, one of whom has been named in the squad to face Rotherham tomorrow.

Former Scotland under-20 flanker Gary Graham and Samoan Fautua Otto, who can play both centre and wing, have both joined the Islanders – and Graham has been named among the replacements for the trip to Clifton Lane.

Gary Graham

Age: 22

Born: Stirling, Scotland

Height: 6'3"

Weight: 16 st 8 lbs

Position: Back/2nd row

Honours: Scotland U20s

Fautua Otto

Age: 29

Born: Samoa

Height: 6 ft 1 in

Weight: 14 st 2 lbs

Position: Centre/wing

Honours: Samoa

The Stirling-born forward, who can play anywhere across the back five, has joined the Reds from Gala in the Scottish borders and head coach Harvey Biljon has wasted no time in including him.

'He's a guy we've been keeping tabs on for some time now,' explained the South African.

'He's someone we were hoping to bring in early next season but in light of the injuries we've had, we've had to call on him now … lucky for us we had an opportunity where he became available.

'A couple of things that stand out are his work ethic and work rate. He hits hard and he carries the ball.

'We, as coaches, have the challenge of improving him as a rugby player but he's got the raw materials and attitude to really contribute to the team and those are the kind of individuals we're after.'

Standing 6 ft 3 in and weighing 16 st 8 lb, it's Graham's bushy beard that is perhaps his most defining feature. The 22-year-old, who's father George won 25 senior caps between 1997 and 2002, has agreed a three-month deal stretching to the end of the current campaign.

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Jersey have not had a 'point of difference' since the departure of Tommy Bell, according to head coach Harvey Biljon
Gary Graham has represented Scotland under-20s PICTURE: ALWYN JOHNSTON

Also joining Jersey is a player who really excites Biljon and someone the head coach hopes can offer the Islanders a 'point of difference'. 29-year-old back Otto will be a familiar face to many Championship observers, having spent three seasons with Bristol until summer 2014.

Biljon said: 'Firstly, it's been some time in the waiting. We've been working on his arrival for a while and the anticipation is finally over.

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'I don't think he'll be involved with the team straight away – he'll need time to settle in – but I'm sure once he gets an understanding we'll give him game time. He brings a different attacking perspective. We've been looking for a point of difference ... we obviously lost Tommy Bell early on and we've been waiting to find another point of difference in our back line.

'We think, with his pace, his evasion and also his power, that he'll be able to bring something different to our back line.

Fautua Otto is set to start on the left wing agaisnt Bedford. PICTURE: JOHN WHITE

'Positionally, we don't know where he's going to play just yet so it's about us finding that balance. If you look at our back three options at the moment, we've probably got more power than pace but we might be able to find that balance now in power, pace and some tactical awareness with the kicking game too. He'll contribute to that.'

Otto has won 12 caps for Samoa during the past five years, and has also represented his country in the HSBC Sevens World Series. He has signed a 16-month contract with Jersey.

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