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Jersey confirm seven forwards leaving with 14 signed for 2022/23

By Kim Ekin
(Photo by Henry Browne/Getty Images)

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Fresh from a fourth-place finish in the 2021/22 Championship and a semi-final appearance in the Championship Cup, Jersey Reds have announced the overhaul of their pack for an upcoming new season that will be their eleventh in the English second-tier following their 2012 promotion from National 1.

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Jersey lost just six out of 20 recent Championship games, amassing a record haul of 69 league points, and they have now started the process of finalising its squad for the new season.

A club statement read: “Following the recent conclusion of the 2021/22 season, Jersey Reds have started the process of confirming the make-up of the squad for the next campaign, due to begin with pre-season friendly games in August.

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The first phase of the process covers the forwards who were part of the Reds’ 2021/22 squad, with 14 players committing to returning this summer as follows:
James Flynn (prop) – set for his second season with the Reds,
Huw Owen (prop) – second season,
Adam Nicol (prop) – second season,
Steve Longwell (prop) – second season,
TJ Harris (hooker) – fourth season,
Eoghan Clarke (hooker) – second season,
Harry Doolan (hooker) – second season,
Macauley Cook (lock) – third season,
Sean O’Connor (lock) – third season,
Tom Everard (lock) – second season,
Max Argyle (back row) – seventh season,
Lewis Wynne (back row) – third season,
Tim Grey (back row) – third season,
Alun Lawrence (back row) – joins from Welsh region Cardiff after a loan spell last season.

“Several forwards from the class of 2021/22 had already confirmed they would not be returning next season. Prop Roy Godfrey and back-rower Guy Thompson both retired from professional rugby after the Reds’ final game earlier this month, while another back-rower, Wes White, will become the latest Jersey graduate to earn an opportunity in the Gallagher Premiership when he joins Bath.

“Other forwards from 2021/22 who are leaving the Reds’ set-up: Jack Higgins (prop), Jack Macfarlane (hooker), Max Ayling (lock), Alex Humfrey (back row). The Reds will later this week confirm the backs who will be staying and leaving for next season.”

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Director of rugby Harvey Biljon said: “I’m pleased to have a large proportion of the players who helped us have a very good season returning for more as we build towards 2022/23. At the same time, we will say farewell to several others who have made significant contributions – Guy and Roy have been key members of the squad and leave the pro game after stellar careers, while Wes has earned his shot at the top level.

“Jack Macfarlane has been part of our squad for six years and always gave 100 per cent – I’d like to thank him, and also Jack Higgins, Alex Humfrey and Max Ayling for what they have done, and wish all those leaving us the very best for the future.”

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