NEWPORT RFC believe Rhys Downes' title-winning experience can help them flourish when they get the green light to return to action.

The 30-year-old scrum half has returned to Rodney Parade for a second spell in black and amber after making 22 appearances for the club in the 2012/13 season.

Downes has won silverware with Pontypridd and Merthyr, while he also counts Ebbw Vale and Bedwas among his former clubs.

The half-back made a solitary Dragons appearance against London Welsh in 2013 after previously featuring for Cardiff Blues.

Downes, from Pontypridd, will battle for the 9 jersey with Geraint Watkin and Luke Crane.

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"We are really pleased that we have managed to secure Rhys for next season," said head coach Ty Morris.

"Having recently moved into the Newport area and previously played for the club, it was nice to be able to get a now local lad of his quality back at Newport RFC.

"Rhys knows the Premiership inside out, previously played at Pontypridd, Ebbw Vale and Merthyr all of which he has had a hand in helping to win Premiership titles.

"We are really looking forward to Rhys adding his experience and a winning mentality. Along with his experience, his excellent running and passing skills will only add to our very competitive scrum half position this season."

All Premiership clubs are waiting for the go-ahead from the Welsh Rugby Union to resume full training.

A pre-season period will then be needed to get players up to speed for a shortened 2020/21 with the governing body previously saying that it would be November at the earliest before action returns at community level.

Newport haven't played since beating Ponty at Sardis Road at the end of February while their last fixture on home soil was a win against Swansea at the start of that month.