CHINNOR RFC Thame are thrilled to announce that former England and Toulon star Delon Armitage is to join the Club as Backs Coach.
The 36-year-old adds to an already exciting coaching team at Kingsey Road, teaming up with Director of Rugby, Richard Thorpe and Attack Coach, Craig Hampson.
Delon is transitioning out of a full-time playing career, with Chinnor offering the ex-international a platform to move into coaching as he looks to further his development in both England and France.
The former full-back enjoyed a successful career, which included 26 Tests for England and selection for the 2011 World Cup squad. He also made just under 300 appearances for London Irish, Toulon and Lyon across 16 years.
Delon enjoyed a particularly prosperous spell on the French Riviera as he was part of Toulon’s domestic-European double-winning season in 2013/14. He also won the Champions Cup three times and the Top 14 once during his four years with the club.
After retiring from playing in 2018, Armitage is looking forward to the opportunity to begin his coaching pathway and join forces with Thorpe, his former teammate at London Irish.
Delon said: “I’m delighted to be joining Chinnor RFC Thame. 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.”
Chinnor RFC Thame Director of Rugby, Richard 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. Whilst Delon will still have responsibilities and positions within France, whilst he is back in England, it will be Chinnor RFC Thame where he furthers his coaching development. 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.”