Blues bring in international help as they plan for rugby season

Chichester Rugby Club are gearing up for the new London one south season.

Director of rugby Paul Colley said: “With a very solid fourth place on our return to London one last term, we know life will be very competitive in the 2018-19 season.

“There are lots of old rivalries to resume and new challenges to face.

“Hove gained promotion up to our league to add to the Sussex mix alongside an always-strong Brighton. Medway, frontrunners for most of last year, missed out narrowly on promotion and will no doubt want to push up the rugby pyramid, as do our local rivals Havant, who finished third in the league and have put together what looks like a very powerful side.

“One or two Chichester players have hung up their boots, so this season will be a chance to really push forward our youth development programme, bringing players through from the successful colts teams of recent years.

“With this is mind we have asked the wise head of former chairman, Keith Martin, to stay with the colts alongside myself and we are very pleased to announce that working with the colts and advising the seniors will be homegrown talent and Chichester lad Kieran Low.

“Kieran had a very successful professional rugby career playing for London Irish, Glasgow and Saracens. Kieran played through the England age groups at under-18 and under-20 and went on to achieve full international status with Scotland.

“He had to retire early through injury but Kieran is looking to put something back into the club he started with.

“In the senior set-up I have looked to strengthen the coaching structure with the introduction of Neil McGovern as defence coach.

“Neil and I have coached with and against each other for many years; including being joint county under-20s coaches five or six years ago.

“When I heard that after a very successful period with Brighton RFC Neil had left the club, I was very keen to bring him on board.”

Here’s the Chichester line-up for the new season: Director of rugby Paul Colley; Head Coach Scott Ashley; Attack Coach Mark Norton; Defence Coach Neil McGovern; Skill Development Danny Gray; 2xv Lead Coach Paul Wooster; Kit & Equipment Manager Alan Chambers; 3rd Team Coach Dave Outen; Rugby Advisor Stuart Anscombe; Academy Director Paul Colley; Colts lead coach Keith Martin; Assistant Coach Kieran Low; Colts S&C Steve Lawrence; Match Day Manager Nigel Hanlon; Lead Physio Jamie Thompson; Asst Physios Holly Boarer & Josh Cowell; Club Captain Jon Lindsay; 1st XV Captain Charlie Wallace; Vice Captain Henry Anscombe; 2nd XV Captain Jack Knight; 3rd XV Captain Simon Campbell.

This Saturday (August 18) the Blues play their first warm-up match, with ambitious London North outfit Harpenden visiting Oaklands Park for a 2pm kick-off. All support welcome.

National League team Guildford visit Chichester next Thursday, August 23 (7.30pm).

The opening league game on September 1 is away to Westcombe Park, while Chi twos host Bognor on the same day.

Colley said: “We look forward to seeing everyone up at the club over the next few weeks.”