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'Mammoth task’ facing Jersey at Vallis Way

Rugby | Published:

THE highest scoring team in the Championship takes on the lowest scoring one at Vallis Way on Saturday as Ealing Trailfinders entertain Jersey Reds.

Rory Bartle will start at blindside flanker

While the Islanders’ defensive record is among the best in the division, they have registered just 90 points in their opening five fixtures, the poorest return of any team. And in contrast to Jersey, who have seemingly struggled to get over the whitewash enough, high-flying Ealing have been scoring freely, registering 202 points.

Despite his team’s apparent lack of potency in attack, Reds head coach Harvey Biljon is unconcerned by the statistics.

‘That’s a stat I didn’t know about,’ he said. ‘I’m happy with the way our game is unfolding. Against Doncaster we moved really well, Hartpury was monsoon conditions, Pirates we scored three good tries and then had a tense second half, Richmond we just didn’t turn up and last week, against Bedford, that was two top teams going at each other. I’ve no concerns.’

He added: ‘We have recognised that we need to work on our precision, but that’s what happens with a new squad.’

Roy Godfrey returns to captain the team from loosehead, while Nick Selway, Dave McKern, Rory Bartle and former Ealing player Seb Nagle-Taylor are also drafted into the forward pack. In the only change to the back line, Joel Dudley starts at scrum-half in place of Kieran Hardy.

Tighthead Alec Clarey makes a welcome return to a match-day squad, after suffering a bad injury against Coventry in pre-season. He is named among the replacements for the 3 pm start.

Jersey Reds: Roy Godfrey (capt), Nick Selway, Jake Armstrong, Jerry Sexton, Dave McKern, Rory Bartle, Seb Nagle-Taylor, Rory Pitman; Joel Dudley, Oli Bryant; Jason Worrall, Apakuki Ma’afu, Mark Best, Tom Pincus, Brendan Cope.

REPLACEMENTS: Jake Armstrong, Jared Saunders, Alec Clarey, James Voss, Matt Rogerson, Kieran Hardy, Ellis Abrahams.

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