Barkley confirms return to Bath

After much speculation, Bath  Rugby have confirmed that Olly Barkley will be returning to The Rec at the start of the 2009/10 season on a two year contract.


Before Barkley departed for Gloucester, he had notched up an impressive 1697 points for Bath and played 178 matches since his debut in 2001.

 

The talented play-maker is able to play at both centre and fly half and was the first choice kicker for Bath Rugby in the 2007/08 season.

However, Barkley is under no illusion that he will be able to walk back into the starting berth, especially with the up and coming rise of Rugby League convert Shontayne Hape making outstanding progress in that position.


“I know that I will not be able to walk back in and be handed back my shirt straightaway,” admitted Barkley.

 

“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 also very aware of the challenges that Olly will be facing upon his return, but is sure, that back at The Rec, he can find impressive form again.


“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.


“When he achieves that, the England selectors will be thinking of him again and the team and Bath’s supporters will all benefit.”

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