Jersey Reds Athletic are back doing what they love doing the most after a spell trying their hand (and feet) in different sports. Marc Davies and his team mates are back on the rugby pitch, playing competitive rugby, home and away.

Dan Andrade caught up with Davies about how the past two or so years has been and how good it is to return to regular rugby after so much time apart. Read the full interview below!

Athletic having a go (and impressing) at football

How good is it to be back playing competitive rugby with Jersey Reds Athletic?

It’s great to be back with the Athletic. I know all the boys enjoyed our football and cricket adventures, but we are now heading into a full on block of fixtures and the boys are raring to go. It’s nice to be seeing old faces and new week in week out.

How long have you been part of the club?

I’ve been involved with the club since I was around 12 years of age, starting out at Le Rocquier before heading up to the JRFC Academy.

Who is your rugby idol, one from Jersey and one from further afield?

I grew up watching the first team back in the National league days, watching Jon Brennan and Cubie they always set the standards. I always enjoy watching Joe Marler at Harlequins, he’s a real character off the pitch but turns up week in week out and puts a big shift in. 

During Covid times, how hard was it to not play with the lads, and also not meet up with them full stop!

The squad are close, so I know many of the boys found it difficult during the early lockdowns. Luckily when the restrictions lifted the lads were able to get up for a run around and a few competitive touch games.

Did you enjoy playing different sports, such as football and cricket?

We loved it, and for a few of us it rolled back the years to when we played as kids. Athletic FC was the highlight, and we look forward to getting a fixture or two in when we have a break from the rugby season. Few of the boys are now involved with Chirpy Chiefs CC, so it’s keeps us entertained during the summer months. 

How has this season gone so far for you guys?

The season started early September, and was our first rugby match in 18 months.  Despite the loss the lads put out a solid performance. The Athletic boys since have had a  friendly run out against the Royals and Chinnor who traveled over last week, and built a very solid platform to take into our next set of league games.

How much do you enjoy playing away from home against teams you may not know as well! 

Away days are always a good laugh, and the chance to test ourselves in other teams backyards. The Athletic coaching and management team are all to thank for the hard work that goes into organising an away day. The bus ride home is always entertaining too…

On the flip side, how good has it been to play at home? How much do you cherish the support?

We love playing at home, the Athletic have a great following on the island so we always get a great crowd up. Our first home game in over 2 years vs Chinnor last weekend was great – sun was out, local lads on the field and clubhouse full after the game for beers. Couldn’t ask for more.

What are the goals for the season both for you personally and for the team?

For me personally it’s about getting out there and enjoying playing again. I missed a couple of seasons with being injured and then COVID, so it’s all about keeping fit and enjoying it. For the team, we have a talented squad so we just want to keep building on that. We are playing in a competitive league so we want to make a statement against the established teams in the league.

Finally, much would you encourage youngsters to get involved in rugby and Jersey Rugby Club? 

Honestly, I would 100% encourage youngsters to get involved with rugby and get up to the club. Playing league games, home and away, is a great experience and opportunity for the kids. I was involved with Hampshire County and London Irish Academy for years thanks to the opportunities the rugby club provided.  Many others have also benefitted from the opportunities.

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