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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.

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.

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.”

Josh Barton in action against Cornish Pirates during his previous Cov spell (image: John Coles)

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.

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.

“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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