Newcastle Falcons have signed one of the top scrum-halves in the Championship, with Coventry’s Josh Barton joining on a two-year deal.
The 24-year-old has played 26 games for Coventry over the past two seasons, saying: “It’s exciting to be moving up into that Premiership environment.
“Newcastle have got a lot of class players and coaches who can really push my game on to the next level, and I really want to challenge myself.
Barton is a former Millfield School pupil who spent four years with London Scottish, where his performances earned him a place in the 2019-20 Championship Team of the Season.
Moving to Coventry for the past two seasons, he is now determined to seize his chance at top-flight rugby.
He said: “I played against Newcastle when they were in the Championship during the 2019-20 season, and you could see what a quality outfit they were then.
“They’ve since moved back up to the Premiership and continued that development, and I’m just keen to get started now and be part of it.”
Asked where he sees the strength of his game, Barton said: “I’d like to think my kicking is one of my strengths, and I’m also an attacking nine who likes to break around the fringes and get on the shoulder of line-breaks.
“I want to be an extra threat rather than just a distributor, and with the type of surface Newcastle have as well as the way they want to play the game, I see this as a great fit.
“I’ve watched a lot of the Falcons’ games on TV, and then I attended the game at Worcester a month or two ago, where they played really well and had a good away win. There are a lot of good players up there, and it’s a really exciting prospect for me to be working with those guys on a daily basis.
“The speed of the game in the Premiership will be something I will have to adjust to, and I will absolutely throw myself into that. Teams like to play at a high tempo, which suits my outlook on things, and over the summer it’s just a case of doing the hard work so that I’m ready to take on that challenge.”
Barton becomes the Falcons' fifth confirmed signing for next season, following the previously-announced arrivals of Ospreys fly-half Josh Thomas, Bath fly-half Tian Schoeman, Austin Gilgronis lock Sebastian de Chaves and Doncaster Knights lock Josh Peters.
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