Money Management

Bath return rushes for Jersey Reds

Bath Rugby’s Darren Atkins, who joined the Jersey Reds on loan this week, is set to start against Richmond on Saturday Photo: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

The 24-year-old was sent straight into Harvey Biljon’s starting XV for the Islanders’ ‘home’ game in Richmond, seven days after Scott Van Breda from Worcester returned to his former club for an appearance at match against the Saracens.

Jersey gave up the home advantage for their second league fight of the season to avoid adding pressure on the island’s border testing system.

Richmond suffered losses to Hartpury University and Cornish Pirates in the first two weeks of the campaign, while the Reds will also look to revive their campaign after a 45-13 loss to the Saracens.

The arrival of Atkins helps fill a growing injury void created by Kurt Heatherley (shoulder), Ryan Hutler (knee), Apakuki Ma’afu (ankle) and Lesley Klim (hamstring), with scrum half Max Green – also signed on loan from Bain – at least a week before being in contention.

“We needed someone and it worked perfectly with Darren looking for rugby away from Bath,” said Reds rugby manager Biljon. “And we’re under pressure in the scrum-half, given that we only had James Elliott and Cameron Nordli Kelemeti – we were only one injury away from potentially not being able to fill a specialist position.”

Discussing the trip to the Athletic Ground, which will again be completed in one day due to pandemic restrictions, Biljon added: “A lot of things happen when you come back down from the high emotional level of playing Saracens, so it’s been a challenge to stay focused in the next game.

“We are getting more used to traveling now [early wake-up call to catch a flight], so there is no excuse. Richmond will be tough… they added to their squad and yes we did a bit on them. But if we focus on ourselves, the result will happen on its own.

Full preview in Friday’s JEP.