NATIONAL 2 SOUTH
CHINNOR director of rugby Matt Williams has set out a two-year promotion plan as his much-changed squad prepare for the new season.
Williams’s men host Dings Crusaders in their opener on Saturday, having brought in 16 new players and seen 11 depart.
Many expect Chinnor, whose signings include former London Welsh No 8 Alfie To’oala and ex-Italian international prop Tino Paoletti, to challenge at the top.
Williams said: “I have spoken to the board about a two-year plan plan for promotion and I see no reason why we can’t be pushing near the top this season.
“A top six-finish would be a fantastic turnaround after last year when we just avoided relegation.”
Paoletti will assist Williams as scrum coach, while former Cornish Pirates centre Junior Fatialofa is in charge of the backs.
Utility back Martin Nutt, who has joined from Henley, will captain the side, who Williams says are raring to go.
“Pre-season has gone very well and last year’s retained squad have massively embraced my philosophies as well as the new players.
“The atmosphere around the club is great and I’m excited for the season ahead.”
IN: A To’oala (No 8, Rotherham Titans), T Paoletti (prop, scrum coach, Lyons Rugby Piacenza), S Carloni (prop, Amatori Alghero), D McKee (lock, Hartpury College), J Kroman (lock, Parramatta Two Blues), D Oliver (lock, RAF), B Manning (flanker, Henley Hawks), R Long (flanker, Henley Hawks), J Fatialofa (centre, backs coach, Cornish Pirates), R Boughton (scrum half, Gloucester), E Keohane (fly half, London Irish Wild Geese), N Napier (centre, Zingari Richmond RFC, Dunedin, NZ), M Nutt (utility back, Henley Hawks), R Haile (wing, Hartpury College), J Robinson (wing, Henley Hawks), J Olley (full back, Northampton Saints Academy).
OUT: A Smith (player coach, lock, retired), M Goode (player coach, centre, Cambridge), Tom Whelan (prop, Grove), M Kruzyki (lock, Redingensians), T Mowbray (lock, Tring), L Gilbert (No 8, Salisbury), H Betts (flanker, Lough-borough Students), O Hirskyj-Douglas (flanker, Wasps Academy), L Hall (scrum-half, Northampton Saints Academy), W Millet (fly half, Loughborough Students), D Barnes (centre, Henley Hawks).
LAST SEASON: 11th.
PREDICTION: Top three.
Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
Latest Sport news
10:40am Thursday 3rd September 2015
Williams Martini Racing have confirmed that the partnership of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas will be retained for a third season in the 2016 FIA Formula One World Championship.
9:30am Thursday 3rd September 2015
RUPERT Evans knows what it is takes to win the Minor Counties Championship as an Oxfordshire player, but admits beating Cumberland in this year’s final as coach would be just as special.
9:10am Thursday 3rd September 2015
MICHAEL Appleton is happy none of his players were nominated for a monthly award as he seeks to keep Oxford United under the radar.
9:00am Thursday 3rd September 2015
Oxfordshire ended sixth out of seven teams in the Home Counties League when they lost 132-100 to Bucks at Bletchley in their final game of the campaign.
8:00am Thursday 3rd September 2015
Woodstock Harrier James Bolton leads Abingdon AC’s Paul Fernandez by just one point ahead of tonight's final round of the Motavation Series in Oxford.
7:00am Thursday 3rd September 2015
Elizabeth Dorey represented England for the first time at the European Junior Touch Championships at Nottingham – just missing out on glory.
7:00am Thursday 3rd September 2015
Some of the county’s brightest young sporting talents are looking for glory in Manchester as they compete in the Sainsbury’s School Games, which get under way today.
More than 1,600 school-age athletes from around the country will descend on Manchester for the four-day multi-sport event – 15 of whom will be looking to bring a medalback to Oxfordshire.
Six of those will be competing in hockey, with Jona Boender (Abingdon), Niall Devaney (Oxford), Finn Dunleavy (Woodstock), Louisa Heathcote (Banbury) and Storm Sunderland (Deddington) all representing England sides, while Witney’s James Palmer has been selected for Wales.
Bloxham School pupil Heathcote, who is 17, will be representing England Girls White.
She is relishing the chance to shine saying: “I’m so happy to have been selected.
“My aim is to enjoy myself, but also play the best hockey I can throughout the tournament.”
Four Oxfordshire youngsters will be competing in athletics, which takes place tomorrow at the 6,500-capacity Manchester Regional Arena.
Luisa Chantler-Edmond (Headington), Emily Thompson (Banbury), Sam Way (Chipping Norton) and Ryan Craze (Didcot) have been selected to represent the Midlands.
Bicester duo Kieran Bird and Thomas Thornley and Faringdon’s Emily Nesbit will all represent England East in swimming.
Bicester Blue Fins swimmer Thornley, 15, said: “I feel very privileged to have been asked to compete in the Sainsbury’s School Games.
“It will be a great opportunity for me to develop as a swimmer and as an athlete overall.
“I can’t wait to get there!”
Oxford’s Saskia Freitas-Shoeffel will feature for England cadet women in volleyball.
And Benj Scheider, from Abingdon, completes the strong contingent from Oxfordshire with his selection for the England fencing team.
8:00am Wednesday 2nd September 2015
JAMES Roberts has been earmarked for a loan move away from Oxford United, but head coach Michael Appleton was quick to make it clear the striker has a bright future at the club.
6:08pm Wednesday 2nd September 2015
Bob Allsworth took two wins as Vikings whitewashed West Oxford Democrats Club.
9:30am Wednesday 2nd September 2015
JACK Brooks led Yorkshire’s charge towards retaining the LV=County Championship title by grabbing 5-35 as Somerset were skittled for 110 on the first day of their Division 1 match at Headingley.