As with every off-season we say goodbye to those that have moved on and welcome new faces in. Im very happy to announce our new additions and I feel we have a well experienced & balanced coaching team with the right expertise in key areas.
Firstly, we welcome on board Rich Hoskins from Fullerians as Forwards Coach, a massive boost for the whole club to bring on board someone with Rich’s experience and knowledge.
I’m also delighted to announce we have a dedicated 2xv Head Coach in Phil Morrice. Phil was a former Colts Head Coach who will give the team a clear identity and leadership moving forwards.
In addition to this Tom Fletcher will be our 2xv Backs Coach. A former 1xv full back for many years. His knowledge and support will be a huge boost for the players in training and on matchday.
Finally, we’re very happy to bring on board Will Price, Chiltern homegrown, who will be looking after our Video Analysis. Will has just spent a year in France with Rouen, Federal 1, leading their analysis so we look forward to benefiting from all of Will’s knowledge & expertise in this area.
A big thank you to Lee Goodall & Matt Heeks who were Forwards & Backs coaches respectively last season have both moved into new roles; Lee as Bucks Director of Rugby and Matt as Bracknell Skills & Academy Head Coach. We wish them the best of luck and hope to see them on the touchline across the season
We have two new captains; firstly Ollie Cato is our new 1xv captain. Ollie captained the team on various occasions last season & has been a standout 1xv player for many years who I know will be fantastic for us on & off the pitch.
Jason Kilbey is our new 2xv captain. Jason, a former Colts captain and Bucks U20s player who will bring much needed leadership & aggression onto the field.
A huge thank you to Ryan Cole, who has captained the 1xv for the past 2 seasons and has been a huge part of changing the culture at the club. Plus Sam Wheeler who captained the 2xv last season who’s commitment was outstanding.
TEAMS, LEAGUES & SQUAD
Our Senior teams will compete in their respective leagues, the same as last season; 1xv (London 1 North), 2xv (Bucks, Berks & Oxon 1), 3xv (Herts, Middlesex, Merit Table 3) & Senior Academy U18s (Oxford, Bucks & Berks 1)
Andy Saunders will continue to lead the Senior Academy U18s as Head Coach and build on the foundations from the last two years. One big focus for this season which we have started to implement more is to align our Senior Academy U18s with our Seniors so they are fully included in everything we do on and off the pitch. The goal is to retain & develop our young players and fully prepare them for Senior rugby.
On the playing front we welcome back two players who left us last summer to pursue National rugby with Old Albanians and are delighted that they are back at the club; George Bartlett, back row & Lloyd Anderson, centre. The senior squad keeps it homegrown core of players who have come through our system and we’re very proud as a club to keep producing so many fantastic young players. One great example hot off the press is Dan Eckersley who has just been selected for England U18s and is off to South Africa next week, huge congrats to him and best of luck.
TRAINING & PRE-SEASON
After four weeks of pre-season we’ve had an average of 30-35 players so far from U16s all the way up to 1xv, full of games, decision making and conditioning to get the boys match fit for August. Our defence continues to be expertly led by ex-Saracens & ex-Chiltern player, Will Fraser, who’s knowledge & energy is a huge asset to the whole club.
We have three pre-season fixtures against Cleve away (Sat 10th Aug) which will be a great chance to bond as a group on the road, local rivals Beaconsfield at home (Sat 17th Aug) and finally Banbury away (Sat 31st Aug) which will be a stern test before our 1xv league starts against Brentwood at home (Sat 9th Sep).
We’re excited to announce that we are getting a new scrum machine. The last one gave us 29 years of service!
With our scrum expertise in Rich Hoskins, Matt Allen & Alan Simmons we’re sure the whole club will benefit from such a great investment.
FITTER FASTER STRONGER
We are also very happy to announce that a local fitness company, Fitter, Faster, Stronger (FFS) now uses our facilities to train. Charlie Ede is the owner, if you would like to find out more about them - https://www.ffsfitness.co.uk/
As ever, the landscape of rugby is always changing and it’s our job to keep adapting to make sure we push the club forwards. We hope you’ll come and support us across the season.
David (A&C Head Coach)