Jersey's Tommy Bell surprised by Championship nomination

By Brent PilnickBBC Sport
Tommy Bell
Bell has scored 42 points for Jersey so far this season

Jersey back Tommy Bell says he is surprised to have been nominated for the inaugural Championship player of the month award.

The 21-year-old has scored three tries in four games for the islanders, helping them to sixth place in English rugby's second tier.

"It's a big surprise, but it's great to be nominated," Bell told BBC Sport.

The ex-England Under 20 international moved to Jersey in June after two years with Premiership side Wasps.

Bell was one of 15 new players to join the island side in the summer.

Jersey have made their best start in their third season in English rugby's second tier, with a win, draw and two close losses netting them four bonus points.

Tommy Bell's good form for Jersey
Kicked 17 points in 22-22 draw with Moseley
Scored his first try and kicked a conversion in 23-17 loss to Doncaster
Scored two tries and kicked 14 points in 39-12 win at Nottingham
Kicked nine points in 32-29 loss to Rotherham

"We had a good pre-season and we're starting to really gel as team," Bell said. "The positive is the losses have been tight and we've got points out of every game.

"It's massively important, if we're not winning the game, to pick up as many points as we can.

"We've shown we can score tries and it's now taking those three or four-point losses and turning them round and coming out on the other side with wins."

Bell scored 93 points for Wasps in the Premiership, Amlin and LV= Cups but says he needed to leave Adams Park in order to play first-team rugby every week.

"I met with (Jersey head coach) Harvey Biljon and liked his ambition and view for the club," said Bell. "I wanted more regular rugby which would challenge me as well.

"To be involved in the first four games and play 80 minutes every week is really helping me."

Jersey have finished one place off the bottom in their two previous seasons in the Championship, staving off relegation back to National One on the last day of last season.

Bell says the ambition this year is to put a bit of distance between the island side and the drop zone, adding: "We've got a great team this year and a great coaching staff.

"We want to be in a position where we can start looking up the table rather than looking down and seeing who's chasing us."