Little takes over at Canterbury
Little takes over at Canterbury

Canterbury Rugby Club Head Coach Andy Pratt is stepping down after four years in charge at Merton Lane.

Nicky Little

The club has moved quickly to appoint former Fiji international Nicky Little as his successor and restructure the coaching team.

38-year-old’s Pratt’s resignation comes at the end of a difficult season for the city side, who narrowly avoided relegation from National 2 South.

Club Chairman Jonathan Marsh said: “Andy’s decision has come as something of a surprise because he has made a great contribution and brought us success since he was appointed in the 2011/12 season.  Last season was challenging because of an unprecedented injury list but the improvement in the final four months demonstrated Andy’s determination.

“When he took over as Head Coach we had just been relegated to National 3 but he won promotion to National 2 in his first season.

“Andy has been involved with Canterbury since he was a junior player and went on to be first team captain and a prolific try scorer before turning to coaching. He will always be part of the club and I want to thank him for the great contribution he has made.

“He has built a strong coaching team around him and that legacy will serve us well as we look to achieve our ambition of becoming a National Division One side.

Nicky Little is head of the Canterbury Elite Player Development Academy based at Simon Langton Grammar School and has been part of the club’s coaching set up for two seasons.

He is his country’s highest all time points scorer and represented Fiji in three World Cup tournaments.  He played top level club rugby for Bath, Bristol and Sale.

“We are fortunate to have someone as highly regarded as Nicky,’ said Head of Senior Rugby Giles Hilton. “Continuity is important and we have got that with Nicky”.

Nicky Little will lead a senior coaching team which includes forwards coach Darren Molloy, the former Wasps prop and Matt Pinnick, ex- Sale and Canterbury prop, who takes on responsibility for the club second team, The Pilgrims.

The club expects to make further coaching appointments in the coming weeks.