Biljon keeps his Jersey Reds guessing

JERSEY REDS’ professionals were left in limbo by Harvey Biljon this week following a change of tack with regards to his selection process.

Scott Van Breda has returned to Jersey Reds on loan for the rest of the season. The Worcester Warriors back spent a week with the club earlier in March, to face Saracens Picture: GARRY BOWDEN/SPORT IN PICTURES
Scott Van Breda has returned to Jersey Reds on loan for the rest of the season. The Worcester Warriors back spent a week with the club earlier in March, to face Saracens Picture: GARRY BOWDEN/SPORT IN PICTURES

The director of rugby delayed his internal squad announcement by four days in the build-up to Saturday's Championship trip to Bedford Blues in an attempt to keep his charges on their toes for as long as possible.

Players are usually informed of Biljon’s matchday intentions at the start of a gameweek but back-to-back league defeats, including a surprise loss at Richmond last Saturday, have resulted in a new approach.

‘What we’ve done in the past weeks is selected the team on the Monday, so everyone has time to prepare accordingly throughout the week,’ Biljon explained. ‘But we decided to add an extra edge to training this week by holding back the selection, meaning everyone has had the opportunity to get selected.

‘We had to pick ourselves up quickly after the frustration at last week’s result. We can’t hide from that but as a group we addressed it head on and now we’ve got a whole new challenge against Bedford.’

Jersey’s latest professional unit has yet to taste victory together, with two pre-season defeats preceding their winless start in the second tier. They sit second-from-bottom with no points to their name but Biljon does not accept that his side are under any greater pressure.

‘We don’t consider pre-season games as pressure, because we were mixing the team up, and then we lost to former Premiership and European champions [Saracens],’ he said. ‘We did let ourselves down against Richmond but if we keep looking backwards we will get ourselves tangled up. We need to look upwards and not behind us.’

Full preview in Friday's JEP.

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