RICHARD Thorpe says he is delighted to be appointed Chinnor’s head coach for next season after hanging up his professional boots.

The 31-year-old, who played for Canada at last year’s World Cup, will leave London Welsh at the end of the campaign to join the National League 2 South side on a two-year contract.

Back row forward Thorpe has been taking weekly training sessions with Chinnor since January.

He will also play for the club and is keen to start a new chapter in his career.

Thorpe said: “Having just announced my retirement from the professional game, I am thrilled to be committing to Chinnor.

“This is a club with big achievements behind it and a bright future to come.

“I am very excited to not only be contributing on the coaching front, but also to put on the black and white shirt in 2016-17.”

Director of rugby, Matt Williams, who has re-signed for a further two seasons, will still be in charge of the first XV, with Thorpe working under him.

Junior Fatialofa has also penned a new deal as player-coach, while assistant Ricky Khan stays on.

Meanwhile, Spain international hooker Johnathan Phipps will be in charge of strength and conditioning.

Chinnor’s colts team will also be under Williams’s control, with senior players Nathan Hannay and Greg Goodfellow becoming coaches.

Williams, whose side have won six of their last eight games to move away from the relegation zone, said: “I am pleased with the current squad of 24 who are finishing the season strongly.

“It is important to retain as many of those boys as possible and only add key personnel that will strengthen the retained squad.

“I am also pleased the board have helped me to recruit a top class coaching team whose abilities will permeate through to the colts and ripple on down throughout the club.

“It is important to build on the great platform our colts coaches have already created and allow a direct pathway for the next generation of first XV players to be recognised and rewarded.”

CHINNOR’S under 17s have been crowned South West champions after beating Topsham 15-12.

They have now booked their place in the national semi-finals.

Skipper Freddie Barnes powered over the line for the first score on five minutes to make it 5-0, before Topsham replied through George Howill’s unconverted try.

Topsham enjoyed a period of possession and their pressure took its toll when Will Counsell crossed and Gwyn Parks added the extras.

Chinnor responded well and Jacob Whitfield burst through to cut the deficit to two points.

They then led 15-12 at half-time with Harry Gillett crossing.

All the points were scored in the first half as Chinnor defended well to prevent their opponents from scoring in the second half.