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Jersey retain 10 backs but Ryan Olowofela is one of five leavers

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Adam Davy/PA Images via Getty Images)

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Ambitious Championship club Jersey have unveiled its latest 2022/23 squad announcement, confirming that ten of its backline from 2021/22 are being retained with five players – including ex-England sevens and Northampton player Ryan Olowofela – leaving the Channel Island outfit.

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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 announced the overhaul of its pack earlier this week for an upcoming new season that will be their eleventh in the English second-tier following their 2012 promotion from National 1.

Jersey confirmed that seven forwards were leaving with 14 signed for 2022/23 following a campaign in which they lost just six out of 20 recent Championship games, amassing a record haul of 69 league points.

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A Jersey statement on their backline plans read: “The Reds have confirmed that ten members of the backline from the 2021/22 squad will return for next season’s campaign. Those retained will join 14 forwards and a clutch of new signings when the squad begin pre-season training in a few weeks ahead of the 2022/23 season.

“The returnees are as follows:
James Elliott (scrum-half) – set for his third season with the Reds,
James Mitchell (scrum-half) – second season,
Brendan Cope (fly-half) – seventh season (across two spells),
Tom Pittman (fly-half) – second season,
Dan Barnes (centre) – third season,
Jordan Holgate (centre) – second season,
Will Brown (wing) – second season,
Ryan Hutler (wing) – third season,
Brendan Owen (wing/full-back) – fourth season,
Scott Van Breda (wing/full-back) – fourth season (across two spells).

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“The club will have further announcements to follow regarding new signings. The club will also say farewell to some of the backs who were part of the squad during the past season:
Will Lane (scrum-half),
Harry Simmons (scrum-half/wing), who spent the season on loan to the Reds from Leicester Tigers,
Sam Leeming (fly-half),
Jack Roberts (centre),
Ryan Olowofela (wing).”

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Jersey director of rugby Harvey Biljon added: “It’s great to have around two-thirds of this season’s squad coming back in the summer for pre-season – this will give us a great platform on which to build as we go into the 2022/23 campaign.

“At the same time we are saying goodbye to some of those who played a big part in a successful season – I’d like to thank Will, Harry, Sam, Jack and Ryan for their contributions and wish them all the best for the future.”

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