London Welsh May have welcomed a host of new signings to Old Deer Park this summer, but at least the recruits and director of rugby Justin Burnell are singing from the same hymn sheet, writes Josh Doherty.

Former England international is among the army of new boys to have pitched up at the exiles since they secured promotion to the Premiership at the end of last season.

World Cup winner Piri Weepu joins him as the marquee signings in a Welsh backline Burnell hopes will unlock top flight defences this season as they begin their second attempt to remain with the elite after relegation in 2013.

The Old Deer Park chief insists his men, who won only five matches the last time they were in the top tier of English rugby, will more than just make up the numbers this time around.

And 32-year-old Barkley could not agree more.

“I think the foundation of our goal is survival, but this side is capable of a lot more,” he said last week.

”I think with four or five games to go we can surprise a lot of people and be in a comfortable position.

“ From what I’ve seen in pre-season, we our a lot better than simply surviving in the league.

”If we can match our training intensity in matches then there is no reason why why won’t be high up the table.”

Burnell still refuses to talk about the circumstances off the pitch that brought about Welsh’s demise on it in 2013.

And he believes the fresh impetus his new signings have brought will only stand the team in good stead.

“Everyone’s getting on which can only be good for the side,” he added.

“Its reassuring that when we do events off the pitch, it increases team cohesion on it. I’m confident we’ll see that through the season.”