'We've got to be thankful' - Guernsey Raiders prepare for Isle of Man visit

140820 - Guernsey Raiders players - Credit: Martin Gray
Guernsey Raiders last played on Saturday 29 February, before the pandemic saw their season curtailed. Credit: Martin Gray/Guernsey Sport Photography

Guernsey Raiders director of rugby Jordan Reynolds says the club have "got to be thankful" as they prepare to host Douglas from the Isle of Man on Saturday in their first full outing since February.

The match is able to go ahead at Footes Lane because of an 'air bridge' set up by the governments of Guernsey and the Isle of Man, which currently allows for unrestricted travel between them.

It is thought it will be the first community-level match to be played in the northern hemisphere since the pandemic.

"We're definitely not going to be able to peak - we've been training for seven weeks, but it's just an opportunity for the guys to go out and play", Reynolds told ITV News.

"We train so much in this game and we ultimately do that because we want to play rugby - that's all the boys want to do, they want to play some rugby"

"We're very fortunate to be able to do that as one of the first community games and I know there'll be a lot of jealous people around who won't get to do that", he said.

  • Watch: Guernsey Raiders director of rugby Jordan Reynolds

Guernsey Raiders now play two levels above Douglas, the Isle of Man's leading club, after being promoted back to National Two South following the calculations made when the last campaign was scrapped.

"We didn't get to finish the league last season so hopefully we can play well and have a little bit of joy with the supporters who have missed out on rugby just as much as we have", said Reynolds.

The showpiece fixture comes a week after the club staged the first full contact rugby sevens games in the British Isles since lockdown, and their junior players travelled to the Isle of Man for a small-sided festival.

This Saturday St Jacques Vikings will take on a Douglas development side (KO 4:00pm), while the Raiders will face their first team for the newly-commissioned Crown Cup (KO 2:00pm), which Guernsey's coach hopes could become an annual contest.

"It would be silly for it not to be - two islands getting together should be looking after each other - we could learn some stuff from them and I'm sure they can learn some stuff from us".

"The cup puts a little more on to the day and hopefully it can be an annual thing", he said.