England fly-half Olly Barkley has agreed to return to Bath on a two-year deal from Gloucester.
The 27-year-old is set to return to Recreation Ground at the start of the 2009-10 season just a year after leaving for Gloucester.
On his first stint for Bath, he scored 1697 points for the club in 178 matches since making his debut in 2001 and was the first-choice kicker in 2007-08.
The London-born player has no illusions about the size of the task with former rugby league player Shontayne Hape standing in his way.
He said: “I know that I will not be able to walk back in and be handed back my shirt straight away.
“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 Barkley will face, but he is backing him to regain the form of his last season with the team.
“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 said.
“When he achieves that, the England selectors will be thinking of him again and the team and Bath’s supporters will all benefit."