CHINNOR have promoted Craig Hampson to head coach.

The 30-year-old, who still plays for Championship side Ealing Trailfinders, joined the National League 1 club’s staff last summer.

He has taken on more responsibilities since initially arriving as attack coach and the ex-Yorkshire Carnegie, Bristol and Wasps scrum-half is looking forward to his new role.

Hampson said: “I kind of took over most of the coaching from the start – not on purpose or with any force from myself, but it just happened quite naturally.

“I’ve really enjoyed working with the lads – we’ve got a great group with a lot of them living locally.

“They’re all pretty close and through the difficult times they’ve really developed as a group.”

Working with director of rugby, Richard Thorpe, forwards coach, Soane Tonga’uiha and the club’s performance department, Hampson has helped develop the squad without overseeing any actual matches.

He joined after the 2019/20 campaign was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic, with Chinnor finishing fourth on the Rugby Football Union’s ‘best playing record’ formula.

Meanwhile, this season has been cancelled at all levels below the Championship, meaning the Thame-based side have not played since last March.

Chinnor hoped to participate in the NCA Cup, which was created to provide clubs with meaningful matches, but the third national lockdown has put the competition on hold.

It has been an uncertain period, but Thorpe feels Hampson’s new role will put the club in a strong position when rugby returns.

“Craig has been an invaluable part of the coaching team this season,” he said.

“Always bursting with energy, his technical understanding and coaching style immediately impressed on his arrival as attack coach last summer.

“In a season full to the brim of challenges and setbacks, Craig’s appointment as head coach ensures we have secured a top-flight coaching team for next season, where we are hopeful to resume competitive league games.”