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Coventry raid Premiership strugglers for Josh Barton

By Paul Smith
Josh Barton Credit: John Coles

Coventry Rugby have gone ‘back to the future’ to unveil Josh Barton as an exciting addition to the playing squad in a multi-year deal.

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The 26-year-old scrum half spent two extremely successful campaigns at the Butts Park Arena between 2020 and 2022 prior to being snapped up by Premiership outfit Newcastle.

During this time the Millfield School product scored ten tries in his 26 games for the blue-and-whites, one of which won the club’s try-of-the-season award.

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And following the announcement that 2022/23 supporters’ club player-of-the-year Will Chudley has brought the curtain down on his professional career, Cov boss Alex Rae has quickly found what he believes to be the ideal replacement.

He said: “As soon as we knew Will was retiring Josh was the first person we wanted to bring in.

“He’s an infectious character who will be hugely popular with players and the fans. His skillset for a no.9 suits exactly how we want to play the game so we see it as a perfect fit.”

After moving to English rugby’s top tier Barton made nine appearances in his first season at Kingston Park before adding a further seven this term.

Prior to joining Cov, the pacy no.9 spent four years with London Scottish where his performances earned him a place in the 2019-20 Championship team-of-the-season.

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His formative years with the Exiles included spells on loan at Chinnor during their National Two winning campaign.

Barton described making the decision to return to the Butts Park Arena as a “no brainer.”

“I loved my time there before and just as I left you could start to feel the energy that was building around the place and what they were wanting to achieve,” he said.

“Since then they have just got better and better and it’s been great to watch from afar for the last couple of seasons.

“I always said that my time at Cov wasn’t done and after speaking to Razor (Alex Rae) and hearing the ambition he has for the club it was a no brainer.

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“It’s a very competitive team now and there’s big boots to fill with Will Chudley leaving.

“I’m really looking forward to being back with the boys and hopefully playing a key role in the further success of the club.”

More announcements will follow regarding the make-up of the 2024/25 squad.

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Turlough 1 hours ago
'Let them keep talking' - Mike Catt claps back over Bok remarks

“You want that – not hatred – but whatever it is that stirs it all up. It’s good.” Agree with this. If you can put a common motivating idea in all your players heads during a game it can produce a real Team perfromance. Erasmus is pretty expert at this. It is quite clear that the comments by Etzebeth, Allende and others were not coincidence and were actioned to create animoisty before the series in order to galvanise the South African mind set. While I understand it, I don’t like it. They result in unnessary vitriol between supporters and for what? I don’t think any of the SA players seriously believe any of these claims and with Ireland ignoring them Erasmus won’t get the escalation he seeks. The vitriol shown by some SA and indeed NZ supporters is extremely weird for NH supporters (OK, maybe England have felt it) but it just feels very odd over a sport. Ireland were more or less sh1t for the first 100 years of their rugby, they have improved significantly in the last 25 to be in a position around now (it may not last) to go into a match with the big guns with a real shot of winning. The reaction to this from some SH supporters has been bizarre with conspiracy theories of ‘Arrogance’ fueling abuse from supporters and even NZ players to Irish crowds during the world cup. I love International rugby and the comraderie between supporters. I genuinely dread and dislike the atmosphere around games with the southern giants. They take this very personally. NH teams: play them, try and beat them, enjoy the craic with their players and supporters and wish them well. SH teams wish them well and they call you arrogant in the press months later. Its just a matter of try and beat them and then good riddance til the next time.

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