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Report: Will changes make Siam competitive again?

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Jersey and Guernsey will go head to head tomorrow in one of the oldest rugby clashes in the world; the Siam Cup.

As of last year Jersey lead the total win count with 56 wins to Guernsey's 15 and in recent years Jersey have clearly dominated the encounter, winning the last seven times both sides played.

The amateur Sarnians, who play in National Three, have scored just three tries since they last won the cup in 2008. In that time Jersey have become a fully-professional club playing in the second tier of English rugby.

In an attempt to level out the playing field this year, both sides agreed on a rule change, Jersey's first XV will be selected from players who have played for a minimum of 3 seasons at the club.

It's hoped that this way the contest will become a more even one, but do the changes go far enough?

Our sports reporter Chris Cunningham has this report:

Professional Rugby players against amateur rugby players its always going to be very difficult.

I think they've made the right decision in trying to adapt the Jersey selection process, because at the end of the day tradition is lovely but unless you've got a competitive game of rugby it's going to turn people off.

– Andy Bailey, Guernsey Siam captain 2008

The changes will leave a total of six professionals on the field for the Reds: Aaron Penberthy, Joel Dudly, Sean McCarthy, Nick Selway, Nick Campbell and Alex Rae.

Prop Sean McCarthy, who made his Siam Cup debut at St Peter in 2013, will captain the Jersey 1st XV.

Jersey's starting line-up includes three Siam debuts: prop Chris Pople, lock Ed Howgate and centre Will Falle. Guernsey's for their part have two new faces in their ranks Half-backs Adam Nixon and Owen Thomas.

Full Squads:

Guernsey: Sayer; Whitehead, Brown, Campbell, Barnes; Thomas, Nixon; Craine, Ceillam, Batiste, Hillier, Merrien, Martin, Rice, Thomas.

Replacements: Ashplant, Malagodi, Gardner, Sharrott, Batiste, Challinor, Armstrong.

Jersey: Burroughs; Morgan, Sanders, Falle, Dawson; Penberthy, Dudley; McCarthy (capt), Selway, Pople, Campbell, Howgate, Markham, Corson, Rennison.

Replacements: Felton, Carter, De Ste Croix, Buckle, Jeffrey, Glendening, Stevens.