5:30am Friday 13th June 2014
NATIONAL 2 SOUTH
CHINNOR’S director of rugby Matt Williams has heralded the arrival of former London Welsh No 8 Alfie To’oala as a player/coach.
Samoan international back rower, To’oala, 34, who is 6ft and 18 stone 8lbs, played for Welsh in the Premiership, before spending last season at Championship side Rotherham Titans.
Williams described the former Bristol, Leeds and Plymouth Albion forward, who was also part of Samoa’s 2007 World Cup squad, as one of the most dynamic and destructive No 8s in the modern game.
To’oala, who will work with Chinnor’s forwards, has played over 250 matches at the top end of the English game, with 100 of those in the Premiership.
“I have been looking to make a marquee signing for the forward pack to rival the capture of Junior Fatialofa since the moment we beat Exmouth in April,” said Williams.
“ I have been busy trying to persuade Alf for weeks and finally I got my man.
“To bring a personality to Chinnor of the level of Alf is a fantastic boost to the whole squad who will benefit from his tremendous experience.
“He is the sprinkle of magic in my coaching jigsaw and he will assist me in the running of the pack.
“Alf is not just a class rugby player, he is also a top bloke off the paddock.”
To’oala added: “I could have carried on playing at the top of the game and what we achieved at Rotherham last season was great, but the time feels right for me to progress my coaching.
“And the idea of linking up with Fats (Junior Fatialofa) and Matt (Williams) was appealing.
“I also played with the big man Tino Paoletti (former Italian international prop and new Chinnor signing) at Plymouth.
“I look forward to helping Chinnor find success and happiness both on and off the field.”
Williams also confirmed first-team prop Joe Winpenny and full back Matt Mountford will also help coach Chinnor 2nd.
HENLEY Hawks have appointed Pete Davies as their new head coach.
Davies steps up from his role with the backs, while ex-head coach Nigel Dudding becomes director of rugby.
Dudding replaces Mike Poulson, who has resigned due to work commitments, while Luke Allen has been appointed forwards coach after retiring from playing due to injury.
Danny Batty will work as part-time defensive coach, Will Downing heads up strength and conditioning and lock Dave Clements is the new captain.
HOME team Young Guns won Witney’s inaugural sevens tournament, sponsored by Celestra and held in conjunction with London Welsh.
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