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Nine new caps for this year's touch inter-insular

Guernsey will have nine new players representing the island at this year’s touch inter-insular which takes place in Jersey on Saturday.

The annual fixture has been dominated by Jersey wins with the greens taking the overall title just once since the first inter-insular in 2008. Although they will be playing away from home, Guernsey Touch coach Ollie Ward was confident the mixed, men’s and ladies teams were ready for the challenge.

‘For a number of reasons including a wedding and family commitments, we haven’t been able to call upon some of the more experienced players but that allows us to give new, younger players the chance to really make an impact,’ he said.

‘Those players, together with a growing number competing in the KPMG Touch Summer League youth division who are showing real potential, will undoubtedly become invaluable members of future Guernsey teams. The European Championship take place in Jersey next July and we want to ensure that Guernsey is well represented at what is the biggest gathering of national touch teams in Europe.’

The ladies team will take to the field at Grouville first and will be hoping for a more evenly matched game after Jersey won 7 – 0 last year. Caitlin Bowie, Eleanor Woodward and Laura Foster are the new players and will play alongside captain Hannah Dunnell, Laura Mitchell, Annie Paul, Rebekah Fant, Lynne Hamilton, Megan De Garis, Justeen Baker, Katie Cochrane and Sarah Woodington.

The men’s team will be hoping to make it two wins in a row after beating Jersey 5 – 3 at Memorial Field last year. Ward will captain the team, which includes new players Tom Zier, James Monk and Anthony Armstrong and returning players Chris Goddard, Matthew Chick, Dan Hainsworth, Sam Ward, Harry Burns and Mark Bristowe.

Sophie Ferbrache, Mel Jiminez and Charly Alston are the newly capped players taking on the Jersey mixed team and hoping to make amends for last year’s 12 – 3 defeat. Under the agreement between Guernsey Touch and Jersey Touch, this year three players will be allowed to double up. Mitchell, who will captain the team, Ward and Burns will play their second 40 minute game of the day alongside Dominic Paige, Iain Thompson, Alex Burt and Luke Gardner.