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Former London Wasps prop Tom French signs for Barking as player-coach

PUBLISHED: 17:18 29 June 2011 | UPDATED: 10:20 30 June 2011

Martin Jones talks to new players

Martin Jones talks to new players

Archant

French makes switch to Gale Street alongside former pro Phil Davies.

Barking’s new player-coach Tom French believes last season’s near miss can be the building block for another crack at the National One title this term.

French who made the move to Goresbrook from Premiership side Wasps after spending nine years with the Adams Park outfit.

The 27-year-old prop is joined at Barking by Phil Davies, another player with Premiership experience with Sale Sharks and Harlequins as well as a spell with French side Pau.

Also making the switch is wing Charles Broughton, who joins former London Scottish team-mate Frankie Neale at Barking.

French admits that although there will be plenty of changes in playing personnel they can go one step further and achieve promotion.

“We are looking to build on what the guys accomplished last year and this time get into the Championship, that’s the aim of the game,” said the former England under-18 and under-21 international.

“It’s a fairly new team coming together, we have lost quite a few players from last season’s squad.

“I think we have around 12 new guys coming in so it’s pretty much a whole new team which is quite exciting and there are no preconceived ideas of how we are going to play, so hopefully no one else in the league will know what is coming.”

French has had the experience of working and playing with some of the best players and coaches the game has to offer, including former British and Irish Lions head coach Ian McGeechan.

Now he hopes some of that knowledge has rubbed off as he makes his first move into coaching, alongside his existing playing commitments.

“Playing at Wasps and being surrounded by some of the best players and coaches in world rugby only helps,” he added.

“Hopefully I can bring that knowledge with me and do well for Barking.

“It is nice to come into something that’s not already set up and going. It is something we can put our own stamp on.”

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