TO25z-F9_400x400Newcastle Thunder are delighted to confirm that Welsh International Matty Barron will be a member of the Thunder squad for 2016, after agreeing a new deal with the Durham man.

Barron, who rejoined Thunder back in 2014 has been a key figure within the squad, making 40 appearances in the past two seasons, scoring five tries and giving Thunder an attacking threat with his trademark, power packed runs.

Currently rehabbing from a leg injury sustained while playing for Wales in the Danny Jones Memorial match, which ruled him out of this year’s European Championships, Barron’s qualities off the field in helping to craft a culture at the club were a feature head coach Mick Mantelli was keen to retain.

Speaking to ThunderRugby.com Mantelli said: “Matty’s a local boy who has been a big feature for the club in the last two years and was someone we were really keen on getting tied down for next year.”

“He was massively unfortunate to break his leg which robbed him of a chance of playing in the European internationals with Wales and while he won’t be ready to play until probably the second part of the season, he will play a huge part in the building process and gelling of the new squad.”

“I also think it’s hugely important that we look after our own. Matty gives his all to Thunder and will do again when he’s fighting fit, so it’s only right we do the same when he needs our support.”

Barron said: “I’m over the moon to finalise the new deal and now the contract is done I can get my head down. It’s a massive boost and gives each rehab session more purpose so I can get back and on the field.”

“Rehab has been going well so far, I’ve been working a lot in a specialised pool which reduces your weight and provides a current flow for you to work against, it’s pretty cool.”

Speaking about his first impressions of Thunder’s new head coach, Barron added is looking forward to working with the Australian adding, “I’ve been impressed with Mick and the way he carries himself from our first couple of meetings.”

“He said he has liked what he has seen when he’s watched my clips from last year so hopefully I can pick some stuff up from him and improve also.”