Bath have confirmed that Olly Barkley will be returning to The Rec at the start of the 2009/10 season on a two year contract.
The 27-year-old play-maker is able to play at both centre and fly-half and will return next season to his old stomping ground after a stint with Gloucester.
Barkley who currently wears (Adidas Adi pure rugby boots)amassed 1697 points in 178 matches for Bath before his departure to Gloucester and will be eager to add to those figures upon his return.
However, Barkley is under no illusion that he will be able to walk back into the starting berth after his season away from the club.
“I know that I will not be able to walk back in and be handed back my shirt straightaway,” Barkley told the club’s official website.
“But, I am excited about challenging for it again and getting back playing in the style that I think suits me best.
“When I first decided to leave Bath Rugby and go to Gloucester, I was looking for a new challenge.
“Gloucester certainly offered me the chance to do that and I am grateful to them for that opportunity.
“However, I have come to realise over this past season that Bath Rugby is really where my heart is and I feel that whilst I gave it my best shot at Gloucester, it is right, for me personally, to return to Bath.
“I am really looking forward to working with the boys and the coaches again and running out in front of the clubs fantastic supporters.”
Head Coach Steve Meehan is pleased to be regaining the services of the talented back, and expects him o return to his best form next season.
“Bath Rugby has moved on a little over the last 12 months and Olly will have to adjust to that, but I am looking forward to seeing him return to take up that challenge and to watch his form exceed his 2007/08 season, which, was arguably his finest,” Meehan explained.
“When he achieves that, the England selectors will be thinking of him again and the team and Bath’s supporters will all benefit,” he added.