Barkley leaves Bath for France's Racing Métro 92
English rugby star and former Bath flyhalf Olly Barkley has crossed the channel to join France’s Racing Métro 92. In an interview with FRANCE 24's Mark Owen, Barkley talks about his move to the Top 14 and the slow process of learning French.
It’s a done deal. Bath’s flyhalf Olly Barkley has crossed the channel to join France’s Racing Métro 92, becoming the latest English rugby player to play in the Top 14. In a exclusive interview with FRANCE 24, Barkley discusses his move to Paris and how he's improving his “fractured” French language skills.
In late September, Bath CEO Nick Blofeld admitted that Barkley’s decision came as a bit of a surprise, despite the fact that the 30-year-old’s former 2007 World Cup teammates, Johnny Wilkinson, Andrew Sheridan, Jamie Noon, Paul Sackey and Simon Shaw have all made similar moves.
A talented and versatile player, Barkley is considered one of English rugby’s golden boys, equally adept at handling the ball as he is at kicking it. In his last match for Bath on September 29, he scored 16 points alone against the Sale Sharks, helping the club to secure a 31-10 victory.
Barkley joins Hauts-de-Seine’s Racing Métro, just outside of Paris, as a “medical joker”, or replacement for the club’s own injured number 10, Jonathan Wisniewski, who is not expected to return to the pitch this year.