Siam Cup decision looms

RUGBY fans should find out next week if the Siam Cup will go ahead as planned at the end of next month.

Siam Cup at Footes Lane in 2018. (www.guernseysportphotography.com)
Siam Cup at Footes Lane in 2018. (www.guernseysportphotography.com)

Raiders, who are due to host this year’s event on 28 August, are in discussions with the government in the island following the spike in Covid-19 cases in Jersey where, aside of the new tightened inter-island restrictions, there is a concern the Caesareans will have insufficient fully vaccinated players to take part.

Andrea Harris, the Raiders co-chairman, who is due to be elected the Guernsey Rugby Club’s first chairwoman at after the club’s AGM next Wednesday, admitted it was ‘essentially a work in progress’.

‘Cliff Chipperfield [Jersey Reds’ chairman of amateur rugby] and I have had discussions about whether they would have enough players.

‘We have also been talking with the States about the Siam and we will have another discussion with them next week.

‘There is nothing definitive.’

Even before Thursday’s CCA announcement that travellers from Jersey will need to present a negative PCR test before travelling here, in addition to the need to be fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to travel, there was growing doubt about this highly-important major money-spinner taking place.

This means Jersey, whose pool of professionals very largely do not qualify under the competitions’s three-year residency rule, will have a limited pool of eligible players for what is being referred to as the Siam Cup’s Centenary match.

Despite rumours to the contrary, Jersey say they are still committed to fielding a competitive team with players knowing about the vaccine requirements for some time.

The original centenary match was forced to be abandoned last year because of the Covid-19 pandemic and respective travel restrictions between the two islands.

On Thursday Chipperfield said it was unfair to comment until they find out more next week.

‘It’s out of our hands as you can imagine,’ said Chipperfield. ‘But everything is planned and the two clubs are talking very closely. But what I don’t want to do is put Guernsey rugby club in a difficult position with their own government. It’s too delicate.

‘The fixture is booked for 28 August. That is a fact and there’s been no movement from that because we are still six weeks away.’

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