Guernsey’s director of rugby Jordan Reynolds yesterday revealed that Charlie Simmonds, who is currently in his final year at university in Scotland, will be joining the green-and-whites in the summer.
‘I’ve actually been speaking to him for about 14 months,’ Reynolds said.
‘When we first got in contact, he still had another year at uni, but we stayed in contact and it looks like it is going to be a good fit for both parties.’
With Jake O’Connor, one of the stars of the 2019-20 London & South-East Premier promotion campaign, now having left the island, Raiders were always likely to look for reinforcements at scrum-half.
‘The last time we were in National Two [in the 2018-19 season], I think we went through about four No. 9s at one stage,’ said Reynolds.
‘Jake going was a huge loss to us, but we have some fantastic No. 9s at the club.
‘Guys like Lucas Barker are improving all the time, but we also know that Lucas’ primary sport is cricket, so it is good to have guys like that coming through but we also need to replace the guys we are losing like Jake.
‘The way we play our rugby, we know from the GPS units the guys that wear our No. 9s tend to run a lot more than your average No. 9 at our level because we tend to go a little bit wider with the ball, so we do need depth there.’
Reynolds reported that the RFU are ‘pretty positive’ that next season will be able to start on schedule, adding that he has noticed in the market that ‘everyone is recruiting’ so all clubs are planning for a full season.
‘We have 30 league fixtures next season as well as three Siams and on top of that we will be looking for two or three pre-season games, so that’s 35-36 matches, which is about 10 more than we would be playing in a “National Three” campaign.
‘It’s a pretty long season ahead and the first block of [league] fixtures we play will be from the start of September well into December and with a Siam on 28 August, it will mean no rest, so no one in the squad will be playing week in, week out throughout that period.’