- Championship newcomers Jersey under the spotlight
- It’s dangerous not to aim as high as you can - Brennan
Photo: Sue Trower
Jersey RFC have become somewhat renowned for climbing up the league tables, having shot straight through SSE National League 1 into the RFU Championship in just one season. The Islanders take their place in the second tier, making their debut with a tough opener against Cornish Pirates on September 1.
Jersey’s longest serving player, prop Jon Brennan, 31, has dedicated more than a decade of service to the club. Here, he talks fridges, the Wanted, and how his team is preparing for the second tier.
Best banter: Toby Clyde-Smith has a particularly aristocratic knack of putting people down.
Worst dressed: His brother Charlie.
Biggest appetite: Myself excluded, if Dave Felton ever visits your house, make sure the fridge is padlocked.
Worst/best dancer: I'm not sure how to describe Nathan Hannay dancing to the Wanted.
iphone or blackberry: Neither.
Favourite film: Goodfellas.
Favourite band: Massive variety, though Marvin Gaye is a favourite.
Favourite stadium/ground you’ve played in: A visit to Dings Crusaders in January is an experience like no other. A difference of leagues means nothing when we play the Siam Cup against Guernsey, particularly in Guernsey, surrounded by braying locals!
Favourite food: Just about anything
How many Golds will GB win at the Olympics? Decent haul, but slightly less than Beijing.
With Jersey approaching their first season in the RFU Championship, how has pre-season training been? Given the step up in competition, has it been tougher than previous years?
Certainly tougher, but also more structured, supported and intense for a squad that wants to be as competitive as possible.
How are the players feeling heading into the new season and what are you expecting from the RFU Championship?
We know the story after the last few promotions, work hard and have faith in ourselves. The jump is obviously significant, but so are the efforts we're putting in so that we adapt well.
Which teams do you see as particular threats in this competition?
The teams that jump to mind are the ex-Premiership names, but we're more than aware of the overall strength and competitiveness of every team in the league. As the cliche goes, you need to concentrate on yourself first of all before thinking about other teams.
Jersey have some fair distances to travel to the likes of Doncaster and Newcastle. Is there a worry that traveling those distances can affect you pre-match preparations?
We don't need to adapt to traveling long distances to games as we always have! We have a routine in place to minimise any disruption and make it as normal as possible.
Jersey have a knack for climbing up the league tables and gaining promotion. Is that the goal in this competition?
It’s dangerous not to aim as high as you can. We're obviously going into a tough league, but we are backing ourselves, particularly in the way that we have got here over the last few years.