Reds’ southern raid

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African internationals Janco Venter and Hilton Mudariki will arrive at St Peter this summer ahead of the 2018/19 campaign, and are due to be joined by South African back-row Graham Geldenhuys and Kiwi winger/full-back Leroy Van Dam.

The latest signings bring Jersey’s squad up to 24 for next season.

Back-row forward Venter (23) has won 19 caps for Namibia, including playing in the 2015 World Cup. He has played the majority of his career in South Africa, including representing Western Province at under-19 and senior level and in the Varsity Cup competition for the Maties club attached to the University of Stellenbosch.

Geldenhuys (22) was born in Cape Town and also played for Western Province at U19 level, together with being capped for South Africa U16s. He subsequently moved to Durban and made eight appearances for the Sharks in last year’s Currie Cup.

Mudariki (25) was born in Harare and has played 13 internationals for Zimbabwe. He featured alongside former Jersey Reds player Kingsley Lang, as well as representing his country at Sevens. The scrum-half also played at U19 level for Western Province before enrolling at the University of Johannesburg where he played Varsity Cup rugby.

Van Dam (24) is a native of New Zealand’s North Island who has been capped for the ‘Baby Blacks’ – his country’s national U20 squad. He has also played for New Zealand regional sides Manawatu, Bay of Plenty and Otago. His recent rugby has been in Hong Kong, where he helped Societe General Valley RFC to a HKRU Premiership title, beating Jerseyman Joe Ellyatt’s USRC Tigers in the final.

‘Janco, Graham, Hilton and Leroy are players who have shown great potential in their careers in South Africa and New Zealand to date,’ said Reds head coach Harvey Biljon.

‘Now they have a chance to push on in a professional setting in the English Championship, and I’ll be excited to see how they’ll evolve their games after they’ve got stuck in to pre-season training.’

Jersey Reds confirmed for 2018/19: Max Argyle, Leeroy Atalifo, Rory Bartle, Mark Best, Alec Clarey, Joel Dudley, George Eastwell, Roy Godfrey, Josh Hodson, Conor Joyce, Apakuki Ma’afu, Jack Macfarlane, Dave Mckern, Nick Selway, Jerry Sexton, Jake Upfield, James Voss.

New signings: Brett Herron (Ulster, fly-half), Graham Geldenhuys (Sharks, back row), Hilton Mudariki (University of Johannesburg, scrum-half), Aaron Penberthy (Ealing Trailfinders, fly-half), Sam Rodman (Ealing Trailfinders, prop), Leroy Van Dam (Valley RFC, wing/ full-back), Janco Venter (Maties, back row).

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