Esher RFC have put the final piece of the jigsaw into their preparations for the new season with the appointment of former Scottish international Craig Chalmers to the coaching staff.
Chalmers’ primary brief is as backs coach, and he will work alongside Ricky Nebbett and Chris Kibble in a three-pronged coaching attack.
The National League One season kicks off on September 7 at neighbours Richmond, and pre-season continues this weekend at Molesey Road with the visit of Cardiff (2pm).
And, after watching his new charges beat Dorking 37-19 last weekend, Chalmers already has an idea of where improvements can be made.
“We have some young and raw talent here, and straight away you can see where you can make big improvements,” he said.
“We have a strong pack and good forwards, as it showed last year when they dominated a lot of games, but work needs doing on some of the connection play. Some of the team play has to become more joined up.”
Chalmers, who was part of the victorious 1989 British & Irish Lions tour of Australia, has spent the past nine years as coach of Melrose in the RBS Scottish Premiership, guiding them to won back-to-back league titles in 2011 and 2012, and won the Scottish Cup in 2008.
As a player, the 44-year-old made 200 appearances for Melrose and had stints at Harlequins, Worcester and Pertemps Bees – winning six league titles.
After joining Chinnor RFC in the summer, a two-hour journey from his home in south-west London to training meant Chalmers jumped at the chance to join Esher – a mere 15 minutes away.
He said: “Logistically, it just made sense, and life is a lot easier now. Esher is the perfect fit for me.
“I am used to winning things as a player and a coach, and I want to continue that here.”