RUGBY UNION: Chinnor coach Goode to step back from the action

Oxford Mail: Oxford Harlequins centre Adam Walsh will miss their trip to Swindon after having a shoulder operation Oxford Harlequins centre Adam Walsh will miss their trip to Swindon after having a shoulder operation

CHINNOR'S player-coach Matt Goode is to take a lower key role on the field, following a series of discussions at the club.

Goode met with the club committee, who reiterated their support for the coaching staff and the side.

The message that Goode took from these meetings was that his coaching role was affecting his performance.

“I listened to the advice and have decided to let our superb skipper Liam Gilbert captain the game and take charge of the team on the field,” said Goode.

“I found myself trying to coach while the match was going on and it was affecting my play. In a sense, I was trying too hard.”

The new attitude paid dividends on Saturday, when Goode scored two late tries to help Chinnor snatch a dramatic 26-25 victory at Redruth in National 2 South.

“The whole atmosphere in the club is great,” added Goode, who said the club were targeting a top-four place.

They face a tough test tomorrow at home to second-placed Canterbury, who beat Chinnor 20-13 at Merton Lane.

Chinnor, in tenth, make one change, with Harry Betts replacing Andrew Smith, their other player-coach, at lock.

Henley Hawks welcome back prop Dave Manning, who has recovered from a broken leg, for their trip to National 1 basement boys Hull Ionians.

Manning, who has been out since suffering the injury against Rosslyn Park on September 21, replaces Dai Maddocks at tighthead.

Danny Wells returns at inside centre, with Tom Allen dropping to the bench.

Leaders Oxford Harlequins will be without Adam Walsh for their South West 1 East clash away to Swindon.

The centre is to undergo keyhole surgery on a troublesome shoulder.

Ben Selby takes over from the unavailable Matt Edney at hooker as Quins aim to build on their 12-try destruction of basement club Salisbury last week.

Quins’ head of rugby Steve Chadbone said: “We were very impressive with the ball in hand, but it will be a very different game at Swindon.

“It’s likely to be a heavy pitch and a forward battle.

“But we have the tools to cope with most conditions these days.”

Grove, playing their first game for fiveweeks, will be without the unavailable winger Harry Carr for their trip to lowly Cheltenham.

“Skipper James Eckert has been magnificent in the way he has maintained the team spirit off the pitch,” said team manager Phil Rennie.

TOMORROW'S TEAMS

Henley Hawks (v Hull Ionians, away): Yarnton, Bart, Wells, O'Neill, Nutt (capt), Comben, Carter, Manning, Brennan, Penny, Dwyer, McNally, L Allen, Newman, R Stapley. Reps: Hadfield, Maddocks, Woodward, Long, T Allen.
Chinnor (v Canterbury, home): from Fielding, Goode, Barnes, Marston, G Blewitt, Millett, Jones, Hopwood, Winpenny, Titchard-Jones, Townsend, Whelan, Pickett, Tibbatts, Betts, Hastings, Harrison, Gilbert (capt), Mowbray.
Oxford Harlequins (v Swindon, away): Hilton, Robinson, Lee, Fisilau, Johnstone, Norris, Jones, Marshall, Selby, Boulton, Brown (capt), Puchase, Battson, Tupou, Achilles. Reps. Si Chadbone, Tickle, Mott.
Witney (v Devizes, home): Clarke, Beasley, Lamb, Strutt, Monks, Thomas, C Campbell, Richens, A Copperwheat, Catherall, Hicks. Reps: Harris, Mortimer, Landray.
Grove (v Cheltenham, away): N Sevier, Lewis, Clipsham, Bellinger, G Nicholl, R Sevier, J Chilvers, Eckert (capt), Dixey, C Chilvers, Miles, Hare, Gratwohl, Peel, B Nicholl. Reps: Davies, Wallbridge, Wilkinson.

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