‘Strange, but we’d take it,’ said Guernsey Raiders director of rugby Jordan Reynolds after it was announced yesterday that the much-delayed centenary event has been rearranged for Saturday 6 November, when the veterans’ Nash Cup, the Ladies’ Siam and the men’s first-team showpiece will provide a feast of rugby at Footes Lane.
‘We polled stakeholders and while it’s an odd date for a Siam, we still had a huge amount of support for it to go ahead,’ said Reynolds, who admitted it is ‘crazy’ to think it is three-and-a-half years since Guernsey hosted the Siam.
‘It has been really difficult to schedule, but with the amount of work going into it, it is just rewards for everyone to get it on.
‘There have been a lot of inter-insular postponements for so long now and these matches are the lifeline for a lot of sports in Guernsey and Jersey.
‘The opportunity to get this on is so important for many aspects, but mainly just getting that inter-island rivalry back. When you play outside your own island [in mainland leagues], you do start to prioritise what is important, but one thing that is very important to our club is having the opportunity to compete against Jersey in the Siam Cup – that is front and centre for us because we still feel it has huge value for both islands.’
Although it means Raiders will now be playing on the solitary bye weekend they have in National Two South before the Christmas break, Reynolds called it ‘a small price to pay’ for his squad.
‘We really wanted to make it happen and to play in a Siam is something really exciting for the players,’ he said.
‘We were always looking to have a bit of rotation in this first period of the season because we do have a few bye weeks after Christmas as well as the two-week break for Christmas.
‘I think it will have benefits because we are so heavily focused on each game, it might just break up our National Two fixture list in a good way.
‘The last time we were in National Two, we went over to Jersey for the Siam at the end of that season and our guys were dead on their feet.
‘This time we will have a string of games at a high level going into it but we will definitely not be burnt out, we should be relatively fresh, so it could actually be ideal preparation for us.’