Rugby ATL re-signed George Barton for the 2023 Major League Rugby season. The 25-year-old center is 6’1″ and 240 lbs.
George played 195 minutes in 6 matches, starting 2, after joining the Ratlers during the 2022 season. In 2021 George played for the Vancouver Island Crimson Tide in the Coastal Cup.
George started two matches and made two other appearances as a replacement during the COVID-19-shortened 2020 MLR season. George was a versatile player with exceptional speed, which combined with his physical style of play, helped the Seawolves win back-to-back Major League Rugby championships in 2018 and in 2019. George made 16 appearances in 2019 playing 684 minutes and scoring one try. He carried 61 times for 579 meters which led to 4 line breaks, 9 tackle breaks, and 4 offloads. He also made 109 tackles as a member of our Seawall. In 2018 he played 34 minutes in 3 matches, started once, and scored one try.
Barton is from Duncan, British Columbia, and graduated from Shawnigan Lake School in 2015. He played rugby for his high school team and also for Cowichan Rugby Club, where both his father Bruce, and his older brother played. Both were capped for Canada. After graduation, he spent two years playing in France with ASM Clermont-Ferrand Rugby Club’s Academy side. This helped his development and he played with Canada’s 2016 and 2017 U20 teams, captaining the 2017 team in the U20 World Rugby Trophy competition in Uruguay.
Matt Beukeboom, who was both his U20 teammate and former teammate at Shawnigan Lake said that “George is an unstoppable force. He’s built like a front-row, but he has the speed of a back. He’s a great leader and a lot of the guys look up to him.” Barton was selected to represent Canada in the 2017 Americas Rugby Championship and he debuted against Chile at Lanford, British Columbia on Feb. 11 scoring his first international try. He then earned his second cap the following week against the United State in Vancouver on Feb. 18, also scoring a try. He is particularly proud of captaining the Canada Under-20s and for representing Canada in two tests against Chile and the U.S., scoring two tries.
Following the Seawolves capturing the inaugural Major League Rugby Championship in 2018, Barton has spent time with carpentry and with the hospitality industry. The rugby season also is a grueling one and time is needed to be spent in recovery and then preparing for the upcoming MLR seasons.