Mar 19, 2015
A Foot in Both Camps - Kevin Barrett
In the week building up to Saracens' LV=Cup final against Exeter Chiefs in his week's 'foot-in-both-camps' feature we take a look at former Chiefs and Saracens halfback Kevin Barrett.
Barrett played for both sides in a distinguished playing career in which the former London Irish youth product captained his country in the 7s format.
The former Stonyhurst pupil enjoyed two spells with the Devon side during his playing career, in which he made over 100 league appearances for the Chiefs.
Renowned for his competitive nature and pace, scrum-half Barrett began his career at London Irish before making the move to Exeter.
Barrett spent five seasons at Sandy Park before moving to Saracens in 2009, when along with fellow recruits Michale Horak, Carlo Nieto, Richard Skuse and Michael Tagicakibau he joined the Men in Black for the upcoming 2009/10 Premiership season.
During that season, Barrett was a member of the victorious side that beat the Springboks at Wembley Stadium and a year later he captained the club to the 2010 JP Morgan 7s title.
Upon his arrival in 2009, Saracens director of rugby Brendan Venter said: "Kevin is a live-wire scrum-half, and it is not surprising that he has made such an impact with Exeter and in the England Sevens squad."
Initially vying for the number nine shirt alongside Neil de Kock, Mosese Rauluni and then later Richard Wigglesworth (who joined in 2010), Barrett was a dependable presence whenever he was called upon during his spell at Vicarage Road. He made 14 league appearances for the north Londoners before moving back to Exeter in 2011.
Speaking in March 2011 about making the move back to Sandy Park, Barrett said: “I’m very excited about the move. I spent four very enjoyable years at the club and I’m looking forward to being a part of the Chiefs again. I have gained a lot of experience from being at Saracens and from my time with the England Sevens. I am relishing the chance, however, to play for the Chiefs at Premiership level.”
After his second spell with the Chiefs (where he passed the 100 starts threshold) Barrett hung his boots and returned to Saracens in the summer of 2013 to take on a role in the Strength and Conditioning department.
“I loved my time at Saracens and it was during my spell there that I got interested in the strength and conditioning side of things,” said Barrett speaking to the Rugby Paper in October 2013.
“I had spoken to the CEO Edward Griffiths and despite leaving to finish my playing career at Exeter he had told me that there was a job waiting if I wanted it.
“I was only 32 but I was ready to hang up the boots. I had done the course and got the qualifications at the University of Exeter and to be back at Saracens now is a real privilege.
“Saracens are a club with a great family set-up and it is only going in the right direction and I’ve massively enjoyed the role so far. It’s been fun, challenging and I’m working alongside some brilliant individuals in the strength and conditioning department but more importantly, I think I am working within a great team.”
More players who have represented both Exeter & Saracens
Born and bred in Torquay it is probably no surprise that back-rower Ben Cole made his way back to Devonshire to play for the Chiefs in his professional career. Cole, who could play across the back row, started playing pro-Rugby in north London for Saracens, and between the years 1997 and 2002, the auburn haired loose-forward played 61 times for the club.
After a brief spell at Bath, he returned to his home county to play for the Chiefs and made 33 appearances for the club. Now a policeman, Cole played local rugby for Newton Abbott.
A key member of the England Sevens side and a specialist of the reduced form of the sport during his career, back row forward Tony Roques played over 76 league games for the Men in Black in a spell that lasted from 1997 – 2004.
He was a squad member of the victorious Tetley Bitter Cup winning team, Roques was an abrasive openside flanker with a great engine who was a key squad player throughout his time with the club. He moved to London Irish before signing with the Exeter Chiefs in the summer of 2005. After his spell at Sandy Park, Roques moved to Launceston RFC where he played and coached the Cornish All Blacks until his departure in 2012.