JOHNNY Berwick has been named as head coach of Chineham Lions RFC ahead of their first season in Hampshire One.

Berwick has been a community coach for London Irish since 2013 and most recently played and coached at Tadley Tigers.

During his time with Tadley, he played right across the front row and was part of their Berks Bucks and Oxon Premier-winning side.

The highly-qualified coach is now looking forward to an exciting new challenge with the Lions.

Berwick said: “Chineham is a young club moving forward and we have a lot of last season’s players coming back, but as the club is looking to field three sides this season, it would be nice to add some more players to give us even more depth throughout the club.”

Chineham finished runners-up in London Two last season, losing just twice in 18 games. They then suffered a heartbreaking end to their season as they lost an extra-time thriller in the final of the Hampshire Plate to Hampshire One side Fareham Heathens.

This should give the team confidence that they can compete with teams in Hampshire One, but they have been handed a tough start, facing two of last year’s top three in their opening fixtures.

Berwick added: “It is another step up. Hampshire One is going to be tough and we know we have some hard games to start, but this will give us some idea of where we are. I am looking for us to finish in mid-table.”

The club is seeking new players aged 17 and above of all abilities and welcome players who are new to rugby or returning to the sport.

Chineham train twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at May’s Bounty from 7pm until 9pm.

For more information, contact Tom Johnson at