Hinckley RFC Director of Rugby, George Chuter, has announced that he will be leaving the Club at the end of the season to concentrate on his business interests.
‘I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at Hinckley and it will be a real wrench to step back. That said, I’ve been finding it increasingly difficult in the last few months to give my best to both my external business interests and Hinckley RFC. Given that, I think it’s the right decision both for myself and the Club to hand over to someone who will be able to deliver the commitment the job needs. There is no doubt in my mind that the Club has a bright future and I’m very happy to have been given the opportunity to play a role in building that future.’
Hinckley have appointed current player-coach and former All-black Scott Hamilton to take over from Chuter with immediate effect. Hamilton was delighted with the opportunity. ‘I’ll be turning 40 next year and I was seriously considering hanging up my playing boots at the end of this season anyway. You can’t go on forever. When I was offered the chance to take over from George, it made the decision for me. I enjoy coaching almost as much as I’ve enjoyed playing and to have the chance to continue my rugby career at a Club I’ve come to love is really a dream come true.’
Hamilton joined Hinckley in June 2016 after a brief spell with Coventry. He made over 50 Super Rugby appearances for Canterbury Crusaders playing alongside All-blacks legends Dan Carter and Richie McCaw and won two caps for the All-blacks in 2006 before joining Leicester Tigers in 2008. He won 3 Aviva Championship titles with Tigers over a seven year stay.
Speaking recently to ‘The Rugby Paper’, Hamilton commented, ‘As soon as I walked through the door at Hinckley, it reminded me of home and the ‘one-club’ philosophy where everyone is one and the same.’
Also joining the coaching team for next season will be Hinckley legend Ben Avent who was recently forced to retire from the game with a serious neck injury. ‘Ben took it hard when he had to give up,’ Hamilton explained,’ but he has shown a lot of enthusiasm for his new role, and crucially he has the respect of the players, many of whom he played alongside. Hinckley lost a great player but have gained a very promising young coach.’
Chairman John Tilley said of the new appointments, ‘We’ll be sad to lose George but we are lucky to have a ready made replacement in Scott who has already worked with and played alongside the players for a couple of seasons. Ben Avent is a Hinckley boy through and through and I’m confident will bring the same commitment and drive to his coaching role as he did as a player. With Emyr Lewis continuing to work alongside these two, I believe we have a really strong coaching team in place to take us forward. And I hear that George plans to make the odd ‘guest appearance’ down her to help out coaching some of the set piece stuff.’
Updated 23:31 - 31 Mar 2019 by Nick Robinson