Olly Barkley

Olly Barkley
Olly Barkley
Olly Barkley.JPG
Full name Oliver John Barkley
Date of birth 28 November 1981 (1981-11-28) (age 29)
Place of birth Hammersmith, England
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Weight 92 kg (14 st 7 lb) [1]
School Colston's Collegiate School
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Fly-half, centre
Professional / senior clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
correct as of 28 May 2007.
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2002– England 23 (82)
correct as of 18 Aug 2007.

Oliver John Barkley (born 28 November 1981 in Hammersmith) is an English rugby union player who plays at fly-half or centre for Bath and England. Uniquely, Barkley played for his country before making his full senior club début.[citation needed]


Early career

Barkley was born in London but raised in Wadebridge, Cornwall. He was educated at Wadebridge School, and later at Colston's Collegiate School, Bristol where, under the guidance of Alan Martinovic, he captained the team to a Daily Mail Cup success in 2000.

Professional career


Barkley was spotted by Andy Robinson and Brian Ashton while playing for Colston's in 1999–2000. He made his Heineken Cup début for Bath on 6 October 2001, coming on as a reserve against Swansea. He scored his first Heineken Cup try in a game against Italian club Gran Rugby, whilst playing at fullback on 11 October 2002 in Parma.

He made his début for England during the summer tour to North America in 2001 in a game against the United States on 16 June in San Francisco, coming on in the second half as a replacement in the 48–19 win. He was 19 years old at the time, and had not yet made a senior appearance for his club.


He returned to the England side as a reserve in the opening game of the 2004 Six Nations against Italy in Rome. He held his position for the subsequent match against Ireland at Twickenham. He made a breakthrough in 2004 when Sir Clive Woodward handed him England's number 10 jersey for RBS Six Nations matches against Wales when he replaced an injured Paul Grayson at fly half and France, scoring 27 points over the two games. It is thought that from his promotion in the 2004 Six Nations he became a regular member of the squad. Later on in 2004, during the mid-year tests against the southern hemisphere nations, Barkley was a reserve for the matches against the All Blacks in Auckland and Wallabies in Brisbane.


He started off the 2005 Six Nations as a reserve in the opening match against Wales in Cardiff, but started the next match against France at Twickenham, where he scored a try in the 17–18 defeat. He subsequently started the remaining matches against Ireland, Italy and Scotland. He was a reserve in two other matches in 2005, against Australia and Samoa. Barkley dislocated his thumb in a club match against Leinster, the injury ruling him out of the opening game of the 2006 Six Nations Championship against Wales.

England coach Andy Robinson named him in his touring party to Australia in June. Barkley was also one of the 18 players of the touring squad who were named in a 24-man England squad to take on the Barbarians at Twickenham on 28 May. Barkley inspired the first English win over the Barbarians since 2002, as he accumulated 21 points in the match, including one try. He was the starting fly-half for the first of two tests against Australia, England losing 34–3, with Barkley scoring England's only points of the match in the form of a penalty goal. Barkley came off the bench in the second test in Melbourne, which was England's last match on the short tour.

On 1 August 2006 Barkley was arrested in Newquay by police using CS spray after a fight in which a man suffered a broken jaw, but was later released without charge. He was selected for the England Saxons for the 2007 Churchill Cup. He was a member of England's 2007 World Cup squad.


In search of a new challenge, Barkley joined Gloucester Rugby in July 2008 on a two year contract after 6 years at Bath.[2][3]


In April 2009, it was announced that he would be returning to Bath after just one season at Gloucester because he felt that Bath was where his heart was and that the club could offer him better opportunities.[4] However, Barkley's new stint at Bath did not start well, breaking his leg at a pre-season contact session. He has now recovered from the injury and is back playing.[5] After only four games back for Bath (one as a replacement and three starting at inside centre), Barkley was already receiving praise for his outstanding performances, with coach Steve Meehan claiming that he should be pressing for a place in Martin Johnson's 44 man squad to tour Australia in the summer. He scored his first try back for Bath against Harlequins [6]


Barkley was a key player for Bath in the 2010-11 premiershp season, playing a part in 14 matches and scoring 142 points including a last-minute penalty against London Irish in a 24-25 away win.[7] His season was cut short during Bath's away fixture against Gloucester in the premiership after a collision with team-mate Butch James saw him break his leg in two places.[8]


Barkley began contributing to online men's lifestyle magazine Blokely in 2011.[9][10]


  1. ^ "Aviva Premiership Rugby - Bath Rugby". web page. Premier Rugby. http://www.premiershiprugby.com/premiership/rugby/bath_rugby.php?section=1. Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  2. ^ "BARKLEY JOINS GLOUCESTER". Sportinglife. 22 February 2008. http://www.sportinglife.com/rugbyunion/news/story_get.cgi?STORY_NAME=rugby/08/02/22/RUGBYU_Gloucester_Barkley.html. Retrieved 2008-02-22. 
  3. ^ "BARKLEY SWITCH SURPRISES MEEHAN". Sportinglife. 22 February 2008. http://www.sportinglife.com/rugbyunion/news/story_get.cgi?STORY_NAME=rugby/08/02/22/RUGBYU_Premiership_Nightlead.html. Retrieved 2008-02-22. 
  4. ^ Mairs, Gavin (15 April 2009). "Olly Barkley to make surprise return to Bath". London: The Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/club/5155625/Olly-Barkley-to-make-surprise-return-to-Bath.html. Retrieved 2009-04-16. 
  5. ^ "Bath target return for Butch James and Olly Barkley". BBC Sport. 12 January 2010. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/my_club/bath/8455125.stm. Retrieved 2010-01-14. 
  6. ^ "Meehan - Olly for England". Sky Sports. 27 March 2010. http://www.skysports.com/rugbyunion/match_reaction/0,20244,11069_35670_1,00.html. 
  7. ^ "London Irish 24-25 Bath". BBC News. 1 January 2011. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/english/9329067.stm. 
  8. ^ "Leg break ends Barkley's season". BBC News. 7 March 2011. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/my_club/bath/9415790.stm. 
  9. ^ Richardson, Anna (17 February 2011). "Reviews: Site-insections: Blokely". New Media Age (Centaur Media Ltd.). http://www.nma.co.uk/reviews/site-inspections/blokely/3023499.article. Retrieved 14 April 2011. 
  10. ^ "Men's Lifestyle". blokely.com magazine. blokely.com. 14 April 2011. http://blokely.com/. Retrieved 14 April 2011. 

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