NEW Jersey Reds signing Ben Burnell has ‘big boots to fill’ at St Peter, after making a switch from Wales this week.
The former Wales U20 cap has joined the Championship on a permanent deal today and director of rugby Harvey Biljon hopes the 20-year-old will show the same potential as fellow half-backs Kieran Hardy and Callum Sheedy, who made their senior international debuts after a spell with the Reds.
Burnell made his debut for Cardiff Rugby (formerly Cardiff Blues) in 2022, having played for Cardiff RFC and Pontypridd during his formative years.
‘Ben has been on our radar for at least a year and is a player with an impressive skill-set who we think has the potential to develop over the next year or two,’ said Biljon.
‘He’s got some big boots to fill when you think we had players like Kieran Hardy and Callum Sheedy who came to Jersey at a similar age and went on to play for Wales a few years later, but that’s the sort of opportunity we want a young player to relish.’
Burnell adds depth to a back line that has been without kickers Brendan Cope and Tom Pittman in recent months, leaving Russell Bennett to make the number 10 shirt his own.
‘We just need to stick to the plan that Rob, Tom and myself put together and make sure everyone is ready to perform. We need to keep building performances and making improvements each week.’