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RUGBY UNION: Fisilau named Quins coach
SOUTH WEST 1 EAST
Plymouth Albion legend brings professional structure to Oxford club
FORMER Tongan international Keni Fisilau has joined Oxford Harlequins as player-coach.
The 37-year-old centre was released by Plymouth Albion at the end of last season after spending 12 years with the Devon club.
Fisilau initially signed for Newton Abbot, but moved to Oxford due to better work prospects for him and his wife.
He adds to Quins’ Tongan playing and coaching links in recent seasons.
The club’s coaching team will now be Jamie Cope (forwards) and Fisilau (backs), with Steve Chadbone as head of rugby.
“Keni has brought a certain amount of professionalism into how we are doing things,” said Chadbone.
“It is quite nice to have a professional structure in place now and be very organised.”
He added: “We have taken it back to basics. We don’t need more coaches than that.”
Fisilau won five caps for Tonga and was Plymouth’s record appearance maker.
Quins have also announced ten further signings ahead of their South West 1 East campaign.
Prop Nick Marshall, a Cambridge Blue in 2012, returns to the club where he learnt the game as a junior.
Hooker Dylan Rodriguez joins from Hartpury College.
Scrum half Ralph Jones and lock Allan Purchase return to Quins from Littlemore and Broadstreet respectively.
Former Banbury centre Adam Walsh also moves from Broadstreet, while wing Jack Robinson joins from Old Patesians.
New Zealanders, fly half Zac Norris plus back-row forwards Richard Batson and Jackson Achilles, come in alongside Australian utility forward Ben Selby.
Back-row forward Sam Bennett is Quins’ new strength and conditioning coach.
“Sam has made a big impression on the fitness side,” said Chadbone.
He added: “We have got a squad now that will take us into the first few months whereas in the past we have been playing catch up.
“We have drawn a line in the sand under last year’s relegation and moved on.”