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That Friday Feeling – 8th March 2024

Although this weekend there is no Championship fixture for Caldy there is plenty of rugby to enjoy this weekend beginning with tonight’s fixture between Sale Sharks and Newcastle Falcons. The Sale Sharks’ squad features two Ravers in loosehead prop Adam Aigbokhae and back row Ciaran Booth.

This evening will also see Caldy’s remarkable 2nd xv fly to Jersey for Saturday’s highly anticipated ‘friendly’ clash with Jersey RFC. The two sides first met last year when a youthful Caldy side sneaked a close win by 22-17. The Ravers are likely to face another stern challenge this weekend as they face up to a very strong Jersey side who are the run awayleaders of level 6, Regional 2 South Central division.

Jersey have won 17 of their 18 league fixtures and sit 16 league points clear of their nearest rivals. Their last high scoring win by 73-28 against London Irish Wild Geese was on 17thFebruary in front of a very decent home crowd of 800. Jersey were set to formally wrap up the league title last week against Winchester before they were  thwarted by a water logged unplayable Winchester pitch.

This ‘friendly’ game against the Ravers is an important work out for the home side before their final home game of the season against Newbury Blues which should give them their league title. Accordingly Jersey’s Head Coach Myles Landick has selected a strong squad for the Caldy game with a number of players returning to the starting line up including Irishman J. Sexton who appears in the unfamiliar position of second row. However it is like Jerry Sexton will be more at ease in the Jersey engine room than his slightly more celebrated brother Johnny.

For the last couple of seasons as they have marched up the leagues, this Jersey side have had a target on their back in every fixture. However, for once Landick is likely to try and position the home side as the underdogs citing the Ravers’ five year, 90 game unbeaten record and their previous season’s win over Jersey. Landick’s Caldy counterpart, a much travelled and jet lagged Andrew Soutar, doesn’t see things that way.

“Last season it was our defence that won us the game. Jersey had some big units and a lot of experience and we had to tough it out. Their quality and ambition is clear, we will need to be at our very best if we are going to keep our unbeaten run going. We are taking a strong squad of 25 players, with 17 of this season’s regular 2nd xv lads and a smattering of a few other senior players. Some of the senior squad are coming back from injury. They will be appreciative of some game time and will be looking to support the younger players. Everyone is hugely looking forward to the trip and the fixture. With Stu Cross in the squad……Win or Lose We are Sure to be on the Booze!”

Jersey are expecting a decent crowd for the game which kicks off at 2.30 pm at CoinSharesPark will be broadcast live to Paton Field, enabling those not travelling to Jersey to watch in the clubhouse ahead of the England v Ireland game.

Andrew Soutar and Christian Jones have selected the following travelling squad of 25.

1. John Ralph
2. Ryan Higginson
3. Jack Riley
4. Matthew Rabbette
5. Joseph Sproston
6. Jack Ellam
7. Matthew Gallagher
8. Samuel Olyott
9. Callum Atkinson
10. Ewan Dale
11. Callum Ridgway
12. Robin Lowndes
13. Josiah Dickinson
14. Stuart Cross
15. Jacob Mitchell
16. Samuel Rogers
17. William Robinson
18. Benjamin Jones
19. Toby Elkerton
20. Connor Wilkinson
21. Michael Cartmill
22. Robert Cooke
23. Louis Beer
24. Freddie Arista
25. Alexander Gaughan
Community Rugby
Sunday 10 March  – Minis home &/or away v Anselmians
– u13 home  v New Brighton
– u14 away v Wigan / Wrexham
– u15 & u16 tbc
– Girls, u17 & u18 Colts training

Good luck to everyone & enjoy your rugby weekend !

Notice of future date
A celebration of life in loving memory of Stuart Burnett will be held at Caldy RFC in the marquee from 4.00pm on Saturday 23rd March, following the Caldy 2nd XV game, you are welcome to bring photos, recollections to display & share memories of Stu’s life

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