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RUGBY: New-look Chinnor hope to continue progression
CHINNOR’S new head coaches will continue playing as the club compete for a second season in English rugby’s fourth tier.
Matt Goode and Andrew Smith were promoted to Chinnor’s top job after the shock resignation of Craig Chalmers last month.
While the former Scottish international’s exit was far from ideal, the new duo are determined to make the most of a difficult situation.
Goode and Smith have been leading players for Chinnor in recent seasons and won’t be hanging their boots up just yet.
Centre Goode, 30, will play until October, when he will have an operation on his thumb that will put him out until after Christmas.
Lock Smith, 42, will begin the campaign on the touchline, but will look to play as the pitches get softer, with Goode then taking a greater off-field role.
Goode said: “I have learned a lot from (former head coach) Jason Bowers over the past couple of years and I was hoping to get some good ideas from Craig.
“It has come a bit earlier than expected, but I am going to relish it. We both wanted to do it in the future.
“The players have really supported us.
“I think we have that respect as players, now we have got to earn it as coaches.
“I am sure a few of the boys were a bit disappointed that Craig resigned, but in a way this has brought us together even more.
“It gives players the chance to put more onus on themselves. It is not just about myself and Smudger.”
Chinnor, who visit Exmouth in Saturday’s league opener, reported 11 signings and nine departures. Their new players include Wasps academy trio Alex Harrison (centre/ full back), Oskar Hirskyj-Douglas (back row) and Dan Barnes (centre) plus former Wasps junior Kai George (lock/back row). Ben Farr returns to Chinnor, while fellow wing Joe Marston joins from Leicester Lions. IN: Alex Harrison (centre/full back), Oskar Hirskyj-Douglas (back row), Dan Barnes (centre), Kai George (lock/back row, all Wasps), Ben Farr (wing), Joe Marston (wing, Leicester Lions), Nathaniel Tichard-Jones (prop), Sam Rawstone (hooker), Andy Tibbats (back row), Sam Portland (wing), Connor Hull (full back). OUT: Matt Holyland, Simon Tattersall (both hookers), Dave Hughes (lock), Evan Sawyer, Jordan Wood and Joe Kava (all back-row forwards), Sam Stoop (centre), Henry Colver (full back), Tommy Gray (wing). LAST SEASON: 6th
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