H&B ace to retire after county final

Kit Claughton.
Kit Claughton.

Kit Claughton will retire as a Hastings & Bexhill Rugby Club player and backs’ coach after the upcoming Sussex Shield final.

Fly-half Claughton, 39, formed a long and influential half-back partnership with his brother Piers, before moving to centre last season.

As a teenager he played in H&B’s junior sides with current team-mates Steve McManus and Anthony Roche, coached by present club president Roy Wake, before moving away to play for Blackheath.

Claughton played two seasons for Harlequins development sides under Dick Best, later playing for Sydney club Warringah Rats, West Hartlepool, Tynedale, Sevenoaks and Tunbridge Wells, winning league promotions with the last three.

He played county rugby at various age groups for Sussex and Kent, and also represented Welsh Exiles. For three seasons he played for Kent in the men’s national county sevens.

Claughton rejoined H&B in 2003/4, captaining the side for three years, playing in the teams that won the Sussex One title in 2005/6, promotion play-offs in 2013/14 and the Sussex Shield in 2003/4 and 2012/13.

In 2007 he won H&B’s inaugural top try scorer cup. An RFU level two coach, he has been a player/backs’ coach in recent seasons.

Claughton formed an H&B-based invitation sevens team, Seahorses, which went on to win Blackheath, Beckenham, Egham and Burgess Hill sevens tournaments, and is still going strong.

He captained Sussex President’s XV (now Martlets) over several winning seasons and is currently backs’ coach.

H&B will take on Burgess Hill in the Sussex Shield final at East Grinstead RFC on Saturday May 27 seeking to make it a double having already clinched the Kent One title.

Before then, the club, whose second team won Sussex Division Three this season, will hold its end-of-season dinner at Azur in St Leonards this evening (Saturday).

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