MATT Goode vows to bring the fun factor to county rugby after being appointed Oxfordshire’s head coach.

The former Chinnor centre has taken over from Craig Burrows, who stepped down from the role in October after six years in charge.

Goode, who is Banbury’s player-head coach, started at outside centre in the triumphant side which beat Sussex at Twickenham in May 2017 to win Division 3 of the Bill Beaumont County Championship.

He is now hoping to guide Oxon to more success and is looking forward to getting started.

“It was too good an offer to turn down,” said Goode, who has been in charge of Banbury’s first team since the summer of 2017.

“I’ve played county rugby from under 13s all the way through the age groups to seniors, and it’s an honour to be head coach.”

He added: “I’ve inherited a really strong squad and that’s a testament to Craig and his team.

“I’ve had a couple of boys already speak to me and they’re keen and can’t wait.

“I’ll play it slightly differently this year, it will be a little bit more relaxed.

“People play county out of their rugby season to have fun, so I will focus on throwing the ball around, having a go, and enjoying it.

“Hopefully people will buy into it.”

Goode has named two of his former Chinnor teammates in his backroom staff.

Matty Mountford will be in charge of the backs, with Liam Gilbert the forwards coach.

Goode is hoping the Kingsey Road link will help to attract more people from the Thame-based club, whose first team play in the third tier, to join the county set-up after only a couple of players last year.

But he is keen to have a wide variety of Oxfordshire sides represented when they take on Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire & Derbyshire in their Division 3 Pool 1 opener on May 4.

He said: “I’d like to see a real good mix of players from different clubs, which Craig has always instilled.

“Getting more Chinnor bodies involved is one of my reasons for asking Matty to be a coach.

“They’re a great club and I know them fairly well.

“Maybe not the first team players, it may not be right for them, but it would be good to get players on board who are in the second team.

“We also want to keep up our good links with Henley.

“We will send out invites to the

guys that we feel could bring something to the team, not necessarily on the playing field, but the team bus on the way back or in the bar afterwards.”