The 22-year-old former Exeter Chiefs Academy product, who can also play at centre, was an integral member of the Foresters side who romped to the National Two South title this season, having joined Cinderford from Hartpury College in 2017.
“I was looking for a fresh start outside of Gloucester after having spent the last six years living here,” Little explained. “The opportunity arose for a move to London and Elthamians was the first club I got in touch with. After speaking to Gavin [Lach] and hearing his ambitions for the club it was a no brainer. This is exactly the sort of environment I want to be involved in.”
Standing at 6ft 3in and weighing 108kg, the powerhouse wing will bring much needed size and physicality to the Elthamians back-line. He admits the club’s high tempo, expansive brand of rugby was an important factor in his decision to sign for the club. “This was one of the main reasons for my immediate interest,” he said. “I like the ball in my hands as often as I can and with tired bodies in front of me from the fast ball, it’s always a plus. Pacy games always mean broken field play and lots of space. Hopefully I can thrive and score tries which is a winger’s number one job, after all."
He added: “I like to run hard and get involved in the game off 9 or 10 carrying - it gives the forwards a little break and gives me something to do. There is also something very satisfying about a winger bumping players off whenever the chance arises!”
Little, who appeared for Gloucester in the Anglo-Welsh Cup during his time at Hartpury, is relishing the prospect of a new chapter in a career that was disrupted by a serious cruciate ligament injury in 2015. “This was another reason in me moving and wanting to leave that chapter behind,” Little explained. “I am very proud of myself to have overcome these setbacks and still be playing. However, it is time for me to push my limits again. I cannot wait to start my new challenge at Elthamians and get a solid pre-season under my belt. Hopefully my games will reflect my eagerness and determination to show myself again.”
Little will see some familiar faces among his new team-mates at College Meadow. “I know several of the guys from playing or training with them,” Little said. “Ben King used to play a few age groups above me at the same local team in Exeter before college, and we also went to the same secondary school. Alex Brown and Charlie Self both attended Hartpury while I was there. Browner was a regular teammate throughout my Freshers year in the 1st XV squad. I also did a pre-season stint with Exeter Chiefs Academy in which Ollie Claxton and Ben King were also part of. I am sure I would have come across others on the pitch as well.”
Director of Rugby Gavin Lach believes Little’s signing is hugely significant as the club look to improve on last season’s sixth placed finish in National One. “I’m delighted to have signed Kai because his size, power and overall skill-set gives us something very different in our attacking arsenal,” Lach said. “One of the noticeable differences in National One was the increased physicality week in, week out, and Kai’s physical presence and ball-carrying in heavy traffic will be invaluable as well as providing another try-scoring threat.”
Exeter Chiefs Academy,
Hartpury AASE and England U18
Gloucester LV and A League,
Hartpury (Nat 1) and BUCS 1s
Updated 15:39 - 15 Jun 2018 by Jon Edwards