Although Box stood down early this season following some disappointing results in London South Division III, after winning promotion from Hampshire I the season before, he is looking forward to bringing his side over, not least because a lot of the Guernsey players believe they have a lot to prove.
According to St Jacques’ stalwart and assistant coach, Stefan Bampton, their first training match attracted 34 players, partly because some of them believe they have a point to prove.
The Guernsey RFC’s policy of using mainland players for their league games, instead of using home-grown talent, has not been universally accepted at the club.
He also believes they have a good chance of winning.
‘There are more St Jacques players in the side than last year,’ Bampton said, ‘and Rob was happy to come on board as he’s an ex-St Jacques player, anyway.’ Meanwhile Jersey coach and selector, Mark White, was equally happy with a team which is captained by former Jersey RFC Ist XV player Pat Dean, with Banks’ Ivan Murphy and Doc Snook making up a formidable back row.
As White said: ‘There’s a lot of experience there and Pat Dean has the respect of all the players.
For the first time I’ve also been able to pick the backs I’ve wanted.
‘Rob Box doesn’t worry me; if we can put structure into our game, we’ve every chance of winning.
I’ve not lost in the three years we’ve played this inter-insular and although it was close last year, I’ve no intention of losing it now.’ Kick-off at St Peter is 12.30 pm.
Jersey team: Mark Harris Les Quennevais), Paul Coutanche (JRFC), John Brennan (JRFC), Richard Vetier (LQ), Toby Clyde-Smith (United Banks), Pat Dean (LQ) (Captain), Doc Snook (Beeches), Ivan Murphy (United Banks), Ryan Morgan (JRFC), Tim De Gruchy (United Banks), Matthew Leech (JRFC), Dan Ireland (Beeches), Jason Hosty (Beeches), Tom Newman (United Banks), Chris de Figueirdo (United Banks).
Replacements: Shawn Queripel (United Banks), Peter O’Connor (JRFC), Owen Woolgar (Beeches), Andy Morgan LQ), Matthew Howe (JRFC).
Coaches: Mark White, Gareth Davies.
Guernsey: Andrew Ingrouille (St Jacques), Jason Brouard (GRUFC), Jack Webber (SJ), Jon Coyde (SJ), John Duggan (SJ), Leighton Batiste (GRUFC), Andrew Vedier (SJ), Tim Pond (GRUFC), Divan Crouse (GRUFC), Alec Bailey (GRUFC), Julian Hurley (SJ), John Bell (SJ), Paul Christopher (SJ), 14.Mark Stone (GRUFC), Alex Miller (GRUFC).
Replacements: Lawrence Hill-Tout (GRUFC), Simon Francart (SJ), Stuart Chandler (GRUFC), Keith Corbet (GRUFC), Rupert Iles (GRUFC), Carl Gardner (GRUFC), Aaron Le Masurier (GRUFC).
Coaches: Rob Box, Stefan Bampton.