Sussex are returning to the County Rugby Championship with an exciting young coaching team made up of Aviva Premiership players.

Harlequins quartet Ross Chisholm, 26, brother James, 21, Charlie Matthews, 25, and Matt Shields, 26, will coach the side as the county re-enter the championship this season for the first time in four years.

The Chisholm brothers were both Haywards Heath Colts and Brighton College players, while Matthews is a former Hurstpierpoint College student, and all are eager to repay the county where their rugby careers blossomed.

It’s a coup for the county to have top-tier Premiership players at the helm and Ross Chisholm hopes to make the squad a flagship for Sussex rugby.

He told The Argus: “I really enjoy coaching and have coached at Guildford for the past two years. I did a lot of schools coaching before that.

“I’ve always kept in contact with a lot of people from Sussex and wanted to take on a new coaching challenge.

“When I was approached by Sussex it seemed the best thing to do as Sussex rugby has given me a lot since I was a kid, and it’s the same for James and Charlie, so I jumped at the opportunity.

“I hope that, one, it will be great for coaching experience and, two, I can give something back to county rugby.”

Chisholm has happy memories of representing Sussex and hopes the revival of the squad will attract a new generation of talent to wear the colours with pride.

He said: “We hope we will get a really good turn out of players and, hopefully, can get Sussex to where they belong because there is some quality talent here or has been here.

“I was lucky enough to play for Sussex men a few years ago and it could again be seen as something which is an honour.

“It would be nice if it is somewhere players can come and feel it could lead on to who knows what.

“The final of the division we are in will be at The Stoop so you never know what might come of it.

“The county are really keen to make it prestigious again to represent your county.

“I was 17 or 18 when I played and felt it was something special.

“It will be brilliant to pull it all together again and have Sussex’s men as a flagship for the youth so Sussex can produce more talent in the younger age groups, inspire more people to play rugby and also promote the county clubs.

“It would be great to have that roll into one and be seen as a real flagship for Sussex rugby.”

Sussex will draw on players playing for clubs within the county or from Sussex playing outside of it.

Ross added: “We are going to try to get the best players we can and give it a really good go of getting to the final.

“That’s our aim. We are hoping we can pull in some decent players. We won’t have long to work with them but it is just the start of the journey.”

The championship season gets underway after the domestic campaign so a club versus county clash is avoided.

Ross said: “We want the domestic clubs to see it as a positive move. We want Sussex to support domestic clubs rather than lock horns as it’s important we all work together.

“We want it to be something players want to be involved in, not feel they have to be involved in. We want people wanting to be part of it and have the honour of wearing the shirt.”

The RFU’s Martin McTaggart will mentor the coaching team with Ross keen to develop his own coaching skills to the benefit of the county as he bids to earn his level two badge.

Ross added: “We’re looking forward to challenging ourselves coaching-wise, giving something back and, hopefully, being involved with something very exciting.”

Although unusual, it is not unique for a county to have Premiership players leading the coaching.

Quins duo Dave Ward and Nick Evans coach Surrey’s representative side.