EX-England international Delon Armitage is Chinnor’s new backs coach.

The 36-year-old, who won 26 caps for his country, joins the new-look staff at Kingsey Road under director of rugby Richard Thorpe, his former London Irish teammate.

Armitage retired in 2018 and is looking forward to getting started at the National League 1 side.

He said: “This is a great opportunity for me to develop as a coach while I’m back here in England.

“This is a brilliant club with big ambitions and it’s fantastic to be a part of the journey at Kingsey Road.

“It’s also great to link up again with Richard Thorpe and I look forward to helping the senior squad develop and move forward.”

The former full-back played almost 300 games for Irish, Toulon and Lyon during his 16-year career and was a member of England’s 2011 World Cup squad.

He enjoyed a successful four years at Toulon, winning the double in 2013/14.

Armitage claimed three Champions Cups – the biggest club competition in Europe – and the Top 14 with the French club.

He continues to have commitments in France, but his focus will be on Chinnor while in England.

Thorpe said: “Delon and I have known each other for more than 20 years.

“In that time, we have shared huge victories on-field as well as the inevitable lows of rugby union.

“As we have both now transitioned out of full-time professional rugby, I am delighted to join forces with him once again.”

The Chinnor chief added: “Delon will have license to impose his own creative flair onto our backline this season as our Backs Coach.

“With all of Delon’s experience as a player at our disposal, I am sure it will be far more than just the French calls on-field that will get Kingsey Road excited.

“Whilst it is the case that all sport from elite through to semi-professional is needing to reset the cost base in respect of player remuneration, we are intent at Chinnor to concentrate on creating a centre of excellence in respect of player welfare and enabling aspiring players to reach their full potential both on and off the pitch.

“Delon’s appointment means that we are now nearly there with creating a first-class coaching structure.”