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Chinnor begin their National League 1 season with a trip to Blackheath on Saturday

Chinnor are primed and ready for their National League 1 opener at Blackheath on Saturday.

After nearly two months of pre-season, the squad are raring to go for the trip to south east London.

Chinnor have not been afraid to signal their intentions for the 2019/20 campaign and are eyeing a promotion push in their second year in the third tier of English rugby.

Wins over Carmarthen Quins, Rams and Bournemouth, as well as a hard-fought performance in defeat to London Scottish, stand the side in good stead for the test that awaits them at Blackheath.

And director of rugby Matt Williams is calling on his players to build on the hard yards over the summer months.

He said: “I want the players to back up the work they have done in pre-season.

“It’s been a long, gruelling pre-season, and we’ve put a pretty new squad together.

“We’ve shown that we will be dominant up front, we’ve scrummed very well and scored quite a few driving lineouts.

“So now it’s about taking it into a league game, because obviously pre-season counts for zero.”

A number of players are set for their Chinnor debuts, including the likes of ex-Worcester Warriors back-row forward Carl Kirwan, who will skipper the side, and former Samoa captain Ofisa Treviranus.

Centre Chris Elder was one of the first players to join the club over the summer.

The former London Welsh and Yorkshire Carnegie back, who previously spent time on loan at Chinnor while with the Wasps Academy, is looking forward to the season opener.

Elder said: “The boys are excited.

“There isn’t much in the way of nerves.

“Everyone knows what they can do and we’re chomping at the bit to get started.”

The game comes too soon for Joe Rees, Ehize Ehizode, Jake Ashby and Josh Hodson who picked up injuries during pre-season, while Camilo Parilli-Ocampo is out for three to four months after undergoing an operation.

 

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