Oxford MailRUGBY UNION: Exiles bank on Barkley (From Oxford Mail)

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RUGBY UNION: Exiles bank on Barkley

Oxford Mail: Olly Barkley eyes up a penalty for England during the 2007 World Cup. The former Bath and Gloucester stand-off is the first of London Welsh’s new signings Olly Barkley eyes up a penalty for England during the 2007 World Cup. The former Bath and Gloucester stand-off is the first of London Welsh’s new signings

FORMER England fly half Olly Barkley says he can’t wait to get stuck in after joining London Welsh.

The 32-year-old stand-off is the first of several signings the Exiles are set to unveil having secured promotion back to the Aviva Premiership last week.

Barkley, who joins Oxford-based Welsh after a four-month spell with the Scarlets, has won 23 caps for his country and was a World Cup runner-up in 2007.

He said: “I’m really looking forward to being part of what looks to be a great coaching team and a talented group of players.

“There looks to be a spirit amongst the group that I can’t wait to be involved with and I’m looking forward to the challenge of the Premiership with them all, and helping the club further establish itself at the Kassam Stadium and in Oxford.”

Barkley’s signing came as Welsh announced their Premiership home games would be at 2.30pm on Sundays unless otherwise dictated by television.

The fly half underlined his promise by making his England debut against USA in June 2001 aged 19 – before he had played a first-team game for Bath.

Barkley added on Twitter: “Can finally say I’ll be staying with my Welsh roots next year and signing for @LondonWelshRFC Can’t wait to get back to @premrugby and take on the challenge with what looks to be a team with talent and huge spirit. See you all soon!”

Greene King IPA Championship winners Welsh believe Barkley’s signing shows their intention to be “very competitive” in the top flight.

Head coach Justin Burnell said: “Olly has a wealth of experience, both at club and international level, and he’s exactly the type of player we’re looking for.

“He’s got a fantastic game understanding and his other biggest strong point is his accuracy with the ball.

“His goal kicking is phenomenal and we’ll need that in the Aviva Premiership.”

As well as scoring 1,588 points in 181 Premiership appearances, Barkley has racked up 737 points in 79 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup matches.

The Exiles will learn today who their opponents will be in next season’s European Challenge Cup, while their 2014-15 season ticket launch is on Thursday at 9am.

Dad walking tall after his 70-mile trek for charity

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Thursday 31st July 2014

IT was a fitting end to an admirable feat.

Developer submits fresh plans for 127 homes in Bampton

Oxford Mail: Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens and director Ben Bolt film a scene in Bampton

9:00am Thursday 31st July 2014

A DEVELOPER previously denied permission to build 127 homes in the village where ITV period drama Downton Abbey films outdoor scenes has returned with a new planning application.

Ambulance service cuts 12-hour shifts 'to reduce staff fatigue'

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Thursday 31st July 2014

OXFORDSHIRE’S ambulance staff shifts could be shortened as part of plans to ease pressure on paramedics.

Confusing tale of two signs calls for a speedy solution

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Thursday 31st July 2014

DRIVERS should be paying attention to the roads when watching their speed limit.

Courts prove an inspiration to grandfather in his poetry

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Thursday 31st July 2014

IN his job as a court usher Mike Lacey has seen people from all walks of life.

F1 team sues ex-employees

Oxford Mail:

7:10am Thursday 31st July 2014

LEAFIELD-based Formula 1 team Caterham is counter-suing a group of former employees who banded together to take the firm to court after being laid off.

Gaza scholar blast victim walks again

Oxford Mail:

7:10am Thursday 31st July 2014

FORMER Oxford Brookes Gaza scholar Hassan Al Hallaq, who was seriously injured in Gaza last week, has began walking again in hospital.

Pair in court after city centre protest

Oxford Mail: police officer rear

7:00am Thursday 31st July 2014

Two men arrested after a protest in Oxford will appear at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on Monday, August 11.

The Ent is nigh for Tolkien tree

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Thursday 31st July 2014

IT is said to have influenced the work of JRR Tolkien and inspired creatures in Lord of the Rings.

Funeral date set for footballer

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Thursday 31st July 2014

THE funeral of former Chelsea youth player Jordan Tabor will take place at midday on Tuesday at Trinity Church in Abingdon.

It’s a ‘bootiful’ flower display for Marie Curie Cancer Care at Bicester Avenue Garden Centre

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Thursday 31st July 2014

BEAMING Matilida Hillis, from Kidlington, filled her green star-strewn wellies with flowers at Bicester Avenue Garden Centre on Tuesday.

Power station rubble will be used in redevelopment

Oxford Mail: Pictures submitted by our readers of their memories of Didcot Power Station leading up to the demolition of three of the cooling towers.

7:00am Thursday 31st July 2014

ABOUT 32,000 tonnes of rubble and dust was collected by clean-up workers following the demolition at Didcot A Power Station on Sunday.

Driverless cars may soon be coming to a road near you

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Thursday 31st July 2014

DESPITE its academic reputation, Oxford has a long history of car-making and next year this could be taken to a whole new level.

Academy sponsor hits back at charity’s claims of pupil failure

Oxford Mail:

6:00am Thursday 31st July 2014

AN academy sponsor in the city has been judged to be “failing” to improve the prospects for disadvantaged children.

Oxford United unveil new shirt sponsor

Oxford Mail:

12:34pm Thursday 31st July 2014

TYRE firm Black n Rounds have signed up to become Oxford United's home shirt sponsor this season.

Commonwealth Games: Brilliant bronze for Didcot's Ben Watson

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Thursday 31st July 2014

BEN Watson secured Didcot’s third medal at Glasgow 2014 with a fantastic weighlifting bronze last night.

BOWLS: Hot-shot Hawes races in to claim 13th Oxon title

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Thursday 31st July 2014

Oxford City & County’s Katherine Hawes extended her own record of Oxfordshire ladies’ singles titles to 13 with a clear-cut victory in the final on her home green.

BOWLS: Headington heroes crowned champs in style

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Thursday 31st July 2014

Headington A clinched the Division 1 title in the Oxford & District League, sponsored by Yarnton Nurseries, with a sparkling 5-1 win at Oxford City & County A.

AMERICAN FOOTBALL: Lack of referees frustrate Saints

8:00am Thursday 31st July 2014

Oxford Saints were left disappointed after their BAFA National Central Conference match at Peterborough Stars was postponed due to the lack of a referee crew.

CRICKET: Ferraby keeps Rowant on course for Barbados

Oxford Mail: cricket generic

8:00am Thursday 31st July 2014

ASTON Rowant’s hopes of a trip to the Caribbean remain alive after a fantastic knock from Nick Ferraby helped them into the CCC Cup semi-final.

CRICKET: Windies duo turn out at Kidlington

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Thursday 31st July 2014

FORMER West Indies pair Hartley Alleyne and Collis King were among the star turns at Kidlington’s annual Chairman’s Day.

BAR BILLIARDS: Reigning champs Oxford crash out to Wallingford

Oxford Mail: cue and cue ball for images of snooker and billards for sport

8:00am Thursday 31st July 2014

Holders Oxford A were knocked out of the Inter Area Cup with a 6-4 aggregate defeat by Wallingford C, writes PETE EWINS.

BOWLS: County women see off Surrey

Oxford Mail: image of bowls close up of bowling woods and jack for sport

8:00am Thursday 31st July 2014

Oxfordshire Ladies ran out 96-91 winners over Surrey in a friendly at Chertsey.

BOWLS: Oxfordshire men post full houses

Oxford Mail: image of bowls close up of bowling woods and jack for sport

8:00am Thursday 31st July 2014

Oxfordshire BA recorded clean sweeps on all six rinks as they chalked up esounding victories in their latest two friendlies on the road.

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