Bar­row rel­ish­ing crack in Top 14 af­ter frus­trat­ing time at Tigers

The Rugby Paper - - News | Commonwealth Games - By NEALE HAR­VEY

FOR­MER Le­ices­ter lock Dom Bar­row has vowed to spear­head a Northamp­ton re­vival once he com­pletes his short-term con­tract at French aces La Rochelle.

Bar­row cur­rently has a Top 14 ti­tle in his sights af­ter last month cut­ting short his stint at Tigers, where his se­lec­tion chances had been ham­pered by a neck in­jury.

The ex-Eng­land U20s en­forcer has started twice for La Rochelle so far and hopes his French so­journ will ben­e­fit Saints and boost his own long-term Test am­bi­tions. Bar­row, 25, told The

Rugby Pa­per: “It all tran­spired quite quickly but I hadn’t been play­ing much so Le­ices­ter and I mu­tu­ally agreed it was bet­ter for me to leave.

“Join­ing La Rochelle was a sur­prise but I was thrown straight in against Bordeaux three weeks ago, which we won, and then played against Mont­pel­lier last week.

“It’s been great to blow away a few cob­webs and, hope­fully, spend­ing some time in a dif­fer­ent league will broaden my hori­zons a bit be­fore I join Saints.

“I was cup-tied for the game against Scar­lets but we’ve got three games to come, start­ing at home to Cas­tres to­day, and we’re gun­ning to get a home quar­ter-fi­nal. To win the Top 14 would be pretty spe­cial and I’m em­brac­ing the chal­lenge of a new cul­ture.”

While join­ing bit­ter ri­vals Northamp­ton has not en­deared Bar­row to Le­ices­ter fans, he said: “I re­ally en­joyed my time at Tigers and the fans were bril­liant to me, but I was ex­cited about what (new Saints boss) Chris Boyd told me about his philoso­phies.

“By their stan­dards they’ve had a poor sea­son but Chris has a proven record with the Hur­ri­canes and when you look at the signings they’ve made in Dan Big­ger, Ben Franks,

below, and Taqele Nai­yar­a­voro, I’m sure I’ll be part of a team head­ing in the right di­rec­tion.

“They’re bold signings that show am­bi­tion and my aim is to bring some lead­er­ship qual­i­ties to a side that chal­lenges for do­mes­tic and Euro­pean sil­ver­ware.”

Bar­row has to date failed to trans­late his early Red Rose age group prom­ise into se­nior caps, but he added: “I’ve not given up on my in­ter­na­tional dreams and I re­ally want to bet­ter my­self as a player, per­son and leader and just per­form as well as I can.

“Eng­land are well stocked at lock but I’d like to think there’s a lot more to come from me. I’m only 25 and have a lot of good rugby ahead, I just need to learn what I can in France, set­tle at Saints quickly and prove the level I’m ca­pa­ble of play­ing.”

Point to prove: Dom Bar­row

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