England's Barkley bolsters Wales's Scarlets
Racing Metro 92's Olly Barkley scores at Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh, Scotland, December 14, 2012 - by Graham Stuart
Barkley, formerly of Bath and English west country rivals Gloucester, was recently released by mutual consent from his contract with Grenoble, having first played in France's Top 14 for Paris-based Racing Metro.
The 32-year-old, who won the last of his 23 England caps against New Zealand in 2008, has signed a deal with the Scarlets that will keep him in south Wales until the end of May.
The Llanelli side are hoping he will prove a useful addition, particularly when they are losing several players to Six Nations duty with Wales at a time when domestic club fixtures are ongoing.
"Olly will bring a lot of experience to our squad, both from his distinguished Test and club career in England," Scarlets head coach Simon Easterby said.
"He can cover 12 and 10, and will add much-needed cover for us as we have so many players unavailable during the international call-ups as well as some long-term injuries we have in midfield.
"There was obviously a lot of interest from clubs in the UK looking to securing him after he left Grenoble.
"It will be a boost and will give our team added depth at an important time in our season as we look to kick on in our domestic league.
"It's obvious he is keen to get on to the field and perform well and get some competitive game-time under his belt."
Barkley added: "I am excited to be joining the Scarlets for the rest of the season and looking forward to getting plenty of game-time after a frustrating period at Grenoble.
"The Scarlets squad has some fantastic players, and I hope I can add something in the coming months.
"I look forward to working with Simon and his coaching team and joining the players to try and be part of an ambitious team keen to make an impact for the rest of the season."
Barkley scored a mere five points for Grenoble in only five Top 14 games, starting just three.
His last league outing was in the September 13 defeat by Clermont and since then he'd only played for Grenoble in European Challenge Cup games, very much the second-string continental club tournament when compared to the European Cup.