RUGBY UNION: Exiles bank on Barkley

9:00am Tuesday 10th June 2014

By Ed Mezzetti

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.

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Oxford Mail:

9:00am Monday 24th November 2014

PLANS to widen the A34 in both directions through Oxfordshire would cost at least £800 million, a new report has revealed.

Update: Road reopened after two people cut free following collision on the A44 near Begbroke

Oxford Mail:

12:44pm Monday 24th November 2014

THE A44 is closed following an incident between Spring Hill Road and Sandy Lane/ Rutten Lane between Yarnton and Begbroke.

Grieving family watches as motorist appears in court accused of killing Liberty Baker

Oxford Mail:

3:55pm Monday 24th November 2014

A MOTORIST accused of killing 14-year-old Liberty Baker as she walked to school appeared in court today.

Fog warning for Oxfordshire tonight and tomorrow morning

Oxford Mail:

3:25pm Monday 24th November 2014

A SEVERE fog warning has been put in place for Oxfordshire overnight and into tomorrow morning.

Explore today's interactive front page

Oxford Mail:

12:00pm Monday 24th November 2014

Want to explore our interactive front page? Here it is...

A44 at Wootton re-opens after accident

Oxford Mail:

9:46am Monday 24th November 2014

THE A44 near Wootton, West Oxfordshire has reopened in both directions after an accident.

Burst water main near Bicester

Oxford Mail: Thames Water logo

9:25am Monday 24th November 2014

A WATER main has burst in Stratton Audley Road, Stoke Lyne, near Bicester.

Philippa first in the queue to meet Sir Terry Wogan at Abingdon book signing

Oxford Mail:

9:10am Monday 24th November 2014

PHILIPPA Randels had met Sir Terry Wogan twice before but that didn’t stop her being at the front of the queue for a third meeting in Abingdon.

Charity salsa dancers really on a roll

Oxford Mail:

8:40am Monday 24th November 2014

AFTER 10 hours of non-stop salsa dancing, Bea Prentiss and her team could have been forgiven for wanting to take a well-earned rest.

Health workers go on strike across Oxfordshire over pay dispute

Oxford Mail:

8:37am Monday 24th November 2014

STAFF at the John Radcliffe are striking this morning in an ongoing row over pay.

Two-week gun amnesty begins in move to reduce firearm crime

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Monday 24th November 2014

GUN owners will be able to hand in their firearms without fear of prosecution for two weeks from today.

Oxfordshire NHS staff on strike over pay and privatisation moves

Oxford Mail:

8:20am Monday 24th November 2014

NHS staff including midwives, nurses, radiographers and cleaners are taking strike action today in protest over government cuts and privatisation of the health service.

Buses delayed due to heavy traffic on the A40

Oxford Mail: Traffic Alert general

8:32am Monday 24th November 2014

Buses are being delayed by heavy congestion this morning.

Housing benefit cheat ordered to pay back £2,000

Oxford Mail: oxford magistrates court

8:10am Monday 24th November 2014

A MAN who fraudulently claimed more than £820 in housing benefit and had to be arrested on a warrant will have to pay back more than £2,000.

FOOTBALL: Abingdon United handed a home draw in FA Vase

Oxford Mail: football generic

12:48pm Monday 24th November 2014

Abingdon United host Hassocks or Ashford United (Kent) in the FA Vase 3rd round proper, if they win at Littlehampton in Wednesday's replay.

Oxford United fans' chat

Oxford Mail:

12:00pm Monday 24th November 2014

Have your say on the main talking points at Oxford United in our 60-minute interactive discussion from 12 noon.

VIDEO: Highlights and reaction from Oxford United's draw with AFC Wimbledon

Oxford Mail:

11:00am Monday 24th November 2014

OXFORD United were unable to break down a well-organised AFC Wimbledon side during their goalless draw at the Kassam Stadium on Saturday.

What's in our interactive back page today?

Oxford Mail:

10:43am Monday 24th November 2014

Explore your way around our interactive back page - eight links for your best local sports coverage, including our Oxford United match picture gallery. And there's video highlights from U's clash with AFC Wimbledon as well..

Alfie Potter hoping injury to James Roberts is not too serious

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Monday 24th November 2014

ALFIE Potter admitted it was a big blow for everyone at Oxford United to see James Roberts limp off on Saturday.

FOOTBALL: Oxford City boss keeping in-form striker Adi Yussuf grounded

Oxford Mail:

9:20am Monday 24th November 2014

TOP scorer Adi Yussuf may have scored four times in his last two matches for Oxford City, but general manager Justin Merritt won’t let the striker get carried away, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.

Oxford United head coach has mixed feelings after goalless draw

Oxford Mail:

8:40am Monday 24th November 2014

MICHAEL Appleton refused to be too downbeat and instead praised the way Oxford United stuck to the game plan as they drew a blank against AFC Wimbledon.

RUGBY UNION: Leicester Tigers power past London Welsh as Thacker bags a brace

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Monday 24th November 2014

AVIVA PREMIERSHIP

RUGBY UNION: London Welsh coach Phillips has reasons to be positive

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Monday 24th November 2014

ROWLAND Phillips pointed to some encouraging signs, despite London Welsh slipping to a 12th straight defeat of the season.

FOOTBALL: Hat-trick hero John Mills clocks up Didcot Town milestone

Oxford Mail: football generic

7:50am Monday 24th November 2014

PROLIFIC scorer John Mills hit another hat-trick to bring up a career half-century of goals for Didcot Town in their emphatic win in Division 1 South & West.

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