As we get to the final ten games of the season Director of Rugby Matt Williams is pleased to announce some key appointments to the squad:
Ben Pienaar, captain of London Welsh has agreed to join the club until the end of the season following London Welsh’s sad departure from the Championship. Named club captain for the 2016/17 season, the Number 8/back row forward passed 50 appearances for the club during 2015/16. Joining London Welsh in 2013, the South African had previously scored six tries in 26 appearances for Moseley during the club’s 2012/13 Championship season before moving to the Exiles.
Ben joined the Birmingham club from Leicester Tigers in 2012, for whom he made his debut against Worcester in 2007/08 having come through the club's academy. He made a total of 30 appearances for the Tigers' first-team, including starting the club's 2009 Heineken Cup quarter-final victory over Bath. Aside from his season at Moseley, Ben gained Championship experience at Nottingham and Bedford, with whom he was dual-registered during his time at Welford Road.
Ben commented “I am delighted to sign with Chinnor and help the club in it's ambition to be in the top two. It's an exciting time for Chinnor and I'm looking forward to the rest of the season. ”
Joining Chinnor until the close of next season is Spanish International Prop Joe Hutchinson, 31, a front row forward who is equally at home in any position across the row.
Currently at Rotherham, Joe commented "I have decided that it is time for me to step back from full time rugby and am making the transition into full time work. A number of former Chinnor Boys who currently play at Rotherham told me what a great environment the club is which made the decision to join Chinnor an easy one alongside my working life."
Prior to Joe arriving at Rotherham, he enjoyed 3 seasons in France playing for USBPA in Pro D2 and La Vila in Spain, featuring in the European Challenge Cup against Sale Sharks, Brive and Agen. For Spain, Joe has played against the likes of Romania, Georgia, Namibia and Russia.
23 year old scrum half Josh Davies has also joined on loan from Ealing Trailfinders. Josh made his name for Wales U20 at the 2013 World Cup when Wales reached the final, losing to England. Josh came through the Newport Dragons Academy playing 24 times for the first team before crossing the bridge to join Plymouth Albion in the Championship. After Plymouth's relegation Josh joined London Welsh followed by Ealing this season.
Matt Williams commented "I am very pleased with the squad’s reaction to their slightly off form patch prior to Christmas. The performance at Exmouth this week was a big step back to where we want to be and are capable of; scoring 5 tries. This time last season we had two or three players join us which massively helped re-ignite the spark that enabled us to have such a dominant final third of the season. We are hopeful this will be the case now as we enter the business end of the last 10 games. There are 5 teams in the hunt for the one guaranteed spot and in a crazy league where anyone can beat anyone, it will take an exceptional effort to end up at the top....
I would also like to welcome Charles Broughton who made his first start on Saturday and showed the force he will be. Charles has joined on a long term contract from Richmond where he established himself as one of their top try scorers.
Also my thanks to Ricky Cano who has joined several other ex Chinnor players at Rotherham for his first chance at Championship Rugby. We thank him for his tremendous commitment and wish him every success.”
Updated 09:07 - 14 Feb 2017 by Richard Jarvis