Bath and England International rugby union star Matt Banahan made a flying visit to his home Island at the weekend as a guest of his shirt sponsor Liberation Group.
Matt was released from pre-season training to make the trip, during which he visited Liberation Brewery at Longueville where a beer is being brewed in his honour. ‘Jersey Flyer’ will be available locally during Bath’s pre-season warm up in Jersey next month.
The Bath winger also made an appearance at this weekend’s PwC International Beach Rugby Tournament.
Liberation Group is Matt’s shirt sponsor for the Aviva Premiership team, which ensures the Jerseyman’s roots are celebrated every time he plays with references to Liberation Group at the ground, on the club website and in the matchday programme. Matt joined Bath Rugby in 2006 from the London Irish Academy, and first pulled on an England shirt for the 2007-08 IRB Sevens World Series. Since then he has made a number of full team appearances for the national side.
The former Les Quennevais School pupil is also an Honorary Ambassador for Holidays 4 Heroes Jersey, the local charity that provides free holidays in the Island for current and past members of the Armed Forces who have been injured during their service. Holidays 4 Heroes Jersey is the chosen charity of Liberation Group benefiting from all of its fundraising and community events.
Mark Crowther, CEO of Liberation Group said: “We are delighted that Matt was able to find time in his busy pre-season schedule to come across to Jersey. The recipe for Jersey Flyer is ready and Matt was able to see the beer brewed in his honour before it goes on general public sale. Jersey is very proud of Matt’s achievements and Liberation Group is equally proud of its association with him. Together we are flying a Jersey flag in the UK”.
The PwC International Beach Rugby Tournament is now in its fifth consecutive year and is aimed at making rugby more accessible and encouraging as many people as possible to play the sport. The event took place on St Brelade’s beach on Saturday. All money raised goes to Holidays 4 Heroes Jersey, with the trophies being presented by Matt Banahan at the end of the tournament.