LYNN Evans cannot wait to help complete Littlemore’s revival when rugby restarts.

The 81-year-old will stay on as head coach next season after coming out of retirement last December with the club he founded in 1976 in crisis.

Littlemore had been kicked out of the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Premier due to their threadbare squad, but Evans, along with a dedicated team of club members and Oxfordshire RFU, helped start the recovery.

The rebuilding process was halted by the coronavirus pandemic, leaving the veteran coach keener than ever to get back on the pitch.

Evans said: “The virus came at a time when we were making some progress – I thought it was starting to happen.

“The idea is to get out and finish the job.”

Littlemore’s relegation from Southern Counties North in 2018/19 sparked a mass exodus of players, with the club rarely able to field a full XV last season.

This culminated in their results being expunged in December after they failed to fulfil six of their first ten league matches.

The club continued to arrange friendlies and engaged in an extensive recruitment drive, which saw numbers at training rise to the

mid-teens before the pandemic forced all rugby activity to be suspended.

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has set out a six-stage plan for the community game’s return, but Evans and his team are still working away.

He said: “We can’t do anything until we get clearance, but in the meantime we’re continuing to look at the best ways to recruit.

“We’re trying to explore any avenues we can to get players in. It’s not like turning a tap on, we just have to keep working hard.

“But the numbers have got to double to make sure we’ve really got enough.

“Now we’re at the start of a new season, so hopefully people will have new energy to play.”

When competitive rugby eventually restarts, Littlemore will be in Berks, Bucks and Oxon Division 3 North, playing against several clubs’ second and third teams.

By then, Evans hopes a new batch of younger players will have joined, with the squad’s older core helping coach so he can pass on the baton.

But Evans knows off-pitch matters are just as significant if the club is to thrive.

He said: “Reconnecting with the community is important, making people aware there’s a club on the doorstep .

“You can’t operate in a bubble and just focus on the rugby.”