Pre-season Fixture, Jersey v 1stXV, Sat Aug 13, Match Preview
This weekend an Ampthill 1stXV squad travel to old friends Jersey for the first pre-season fixture of the new season.Both Jersey & Ampthill can can trace the playing of rugby back to around 1880 and both began their recent history around 1960. In Jersey’s case the club acquired a permanent home in 1961 and built a clubhouse in 1964 but it wasn’t until the 1970s when the tourist expansion saw many of rugby’s top clubs combine a break from their regular fixtures with a game against the Islanders.
The current clubhouse was opened in September 1994 and corresponded approximately with the start of league rugby when Jersey joined a league in Hampshire. The 1st XV now plays in the Championship where they achieved their highest place finish (6th) last season.
More recently Jersey have been renowned for the size of their forward pack and, last week in their first pre-season fixture, ran out 45-7 winners against a Coventry XV.
Ampthill first played Jersey in the Champions Play-Off final at Twickenham after both sides won their respective divisional leagues and semi-finals in the spring of 2010 losing a competitive match 21-12. Since then there have been multiple games between the sides both at 1stXV and 2nd XV level.
With Jersey finishing as the 18th ranked and Ampthill the 28th ranked clubs in the English hierarchy Director of Rugby Mark Lavery was delighted to confirm this fixture.
He comments “It’s an honour to be offered a game with a club with their status and we have taken the opportunity to give an opportunity for 9 of the players signed for 2016-17 a chance to impress. We have had a good pre-season, now the playing unit needs to bed down and develop the match awareness and understanding that only comes from game time. This will be a tough season, perhaps tougher than last since our opposition all know what to expect and many sides appear to have strengthened their playing roster”
Forwards:- Sturgess, Ma’asi, Lutui, Gulliver, Walker, Molitika l, Bell, Molitika M
Backs:- Calder, Jones, Baker, Nawaqaliva, Hanks, Weightman, Lynch
Replacements:- Fish, Beesley, Collins, Hehea, Bercis, Williams, Tarrant, Goodge, Wilson
The game kicks off at 15:00 on Sat 13th, ground admission is £5 with U18s free and commentary on the game can be heard on BBC Radio Jersey’s Sportscene by clicking here