Ex-Esher lock backs Park to reach Championship - one day
Ex-Esher lock Rob Anderson has backed his old club Rosslyn Park to follow current employers Jersey into the Championship.
Head coach Jan Bonney’s men, who host fourth-placed Esher on Friday night, are two points clear at the top of the table after Saturday’s 20-15 win at Blackheath.
Park’s defeat at the Channel Islanders last season – in front of a crowd of more than 4,000 people – partly inspired Anderson’s decision to move, but he hoped he would be crossing swords with his old club sooner rather than later.
“Jersey and Rosslyn Park share many qualities. Both clubs are looking to climb the leagues and compete at the highest level, which was a major factor in my decision to join Jersey,” he said.
“I was coached by Jan at Saracens and at England Counties level and, together with director of Shaun Justice, Park have created a great blue-print from which to build their squad.
“A season of performances will see them, I’m sure, promoted to the Championship in the near future. They’ve made some good signings and levels of professionalism at the club are developing.”
Anderson, who has a BSc in business and human geography from Kingston University, quit Park in the summer to sign a two-year contract with Jersey and return to the second tier of English rugby.
The 26-year-old former London Wasps and Saracens forward already had a year in the Championship on-loan at Esher under his belt and jumped at the chance to step up.
“Having played in the Championship before, I was more aware of what to expect this season,” he added. “But the game is always changing and there is always more to learn.
“It was an ideal opportunity to move, allowing me to experience an island culture– slightly different to the mainland – but also enabling me to return to the Championship and to continue my rugby development.”
And the England U18s international has not ruled out a return to the mainland as he bids to one-day return to Premiership rugby.
"I would be lying if I said I didn't miss London, I've met some great people there who have become very close and it's been hard leaving several special people behind, " he said.
"I am contracted to Jersey for two seasons, so hopefully if I continue to work hard, I'll still be playing Championship rugby.
"Anyone playing professional sport, seeks to better themselves, and playing in the Premiership has been an aspiration since I embarked on this journey.
"I would, however, also like to develop away from the field of play too as I have career interests in the financial sector.
"A return to the mainland would always be a consideration, however, I'm fully committed to the club, but no one knows what the future holds."
*Surrey Comet sports editor Stuart Amos sampled a weekend of golf, rugby and food in Jersey.
Arrive on the island and check in for nine holes of golf at Les Ormes, before a lengthy dinner at the Oyster Box in St Brelade’s Bay. Recommended dish: Plateau Royal.
More golf at Les Ormes before hitting the shops of St Helier and taking a drive around the east coast of the island and Gorey as a warm-up ahead of the big clash between Jersey and London Scottish. After post-match drinks, enjoy dinner at the Salty Dog Bistro in St Aubin Village.
Recommended dish: Black bream fillet with crayfish and crab risotto and seared scallops.
Visit Jersey War Tunnels and Jersey Living Legend attraction, before lunch at the Atlantic Hotel and then home. Recommended dish: Roast beef sirloin and a mango & passion fruit cheesecake for dessert.
Accommodation: A two-night stay rugby package at the four-star Atlantic Hotel – just 10 minutes from Jersey Rugby Club – cost from only £195 per person and includes car hire, match day tickets and Sunday lunch at the hotel’s Michelin-starred Ocean restaurant.
Available until: April 14, 2013.