McGann joins brother in the Raiders ranks
A BROTHERLY double-act could become the Guernsey midfield pairing this season.
Ciaran McGann, who is already established at centre for Raiders, has been joined at the club by younger sibling Niall, who has arrived after completing his studies at Durham University, and could make his first appearance in green-and-white this weekend when Jordan Reynolds’ team face Havant in the first of two pre-season matches ahead of their upcoming National Two East campaign.
‘They are slightly different as players. For me, the similarity is that they are both pretty combative centres,’ said Guernsey’s director of rugby.
‘Niall is probably a little more direct and that will bring something a bit different to how we have played since we had Ned Brown in the team. Since then we have had more of a ball-player in there and we will be looking for a bit of both from Niall, and I’m sure he is really keen to show what he can do.
‘He has been with us for the past three weeks so he will likely be involved on Saturday.’
The younger McGann is one of two new signings announced by Raiders in recent days along with New Zealander Jamie Dunn, who is due to arrive this week and so will not feature until the second warm-up game against Rotherham.
Reynolds revealed that much of the pre-season training has focused on the new tackle-height laws that require players to get lower and tackle below the base of the sternum, so he believes his side will go into the Havant fixture ‘more advanced in some areas, behind in others’.
‘We might be a little bit rusty in attack, but I’d be pretty disappointed if defensively we are not strong,’ he said.
‘Havant are a big side and they came close to promotion to National Two last season.
‘They tend to maul from pretty much anywhere – they really back their pack – so it will be an interesting contest for us as we have not done much set-piece work. We are jumping into the fire.’
Raiders play Havant on the club pitch at Footes Lane on Saturday, 2pm kick off.