CHINNOR must focus on doing the small things right if they are to succeed this season, according to Richard Thorpe.

The National League 1 side’s new director of rugby is an advocate of the theory of marginal gains, where a series of small improvements combine to make a big difference.

With the coronavirus lockdown forcing the Chinnor squad to adapt their training to fit social distancing guidelines, players are restricted in the number of areas they can work on.

But Thorpe believes this makes it even more important that the aspects they can control are done to the best of their ability.

The 35-year-old said: “It’s about making a one per cent improvement in 100 things.

“I’ve got control of the physical environment, so that means we can reconfigure our physio department.

“We can structure it so every senior player gets their kit laundered for them.

“When I was at Leicester Tigers that was game-changing and my only job after training was to go home and play PlayStation for the rest of the day.

“These players have jobs, so we’re going to take that off them.”

Among a series of changes, the former Premiership flanker wants to “sharpen” Chinnor’s gym and physio departments and improve players’ nutrition.

Daz Oliver and Matty Mountford have been installed as head of strength and conditioning and team manager respectively, alongside a host of additions to the backroom staff.

Last week, the Thame-based side had their first taste of training since lockdown when they took part in small-group sessions.

It was a reminder of how far away competitive rugby is from a restart, with the community game still only at stage B of the Rugby Football Union’s six-step roadmap towards a return.

Chinnor are still hoping to begin pre-season training on July 2 as Thorpe looks to get his players in top shape.

But the ex-Canada international knows that the start of the 2020/21 campaign could still be some months away.

He said: “My gut feeling is that rugby will be one of the last sports to return because it’s full contact.

“You don’t have to be a microbiologist to know that if one player in a scrum has Covid then every player in that scrum will get it.

“My hope is that it returns as soon as possible, but the priority is protecting our players.”