THE return of former captain James Doherty is a big bonus according to Wharfedale coach Jon Feeley.

The talented Doherty joined the National League One club after opting for a change of career.

He is going back to university to train as a teacher and it means turning his back on professional rugby with Leeds Carnegie.

Feeley, himself a primary school teacher, said: “I am absolutely delighted that James has thought about his long-term future and made this big decision.

“For Wharfedale it will be great to have him back in our squad. Although he was a very young player when he was with us previously, he was a fine player and a respected leader.

“Those qualities will be invaluable again. I am sure he will make a big impact and our supporters will be glad to see him return.”

Doherty, who will be 27 tomorrow, made his mark with Wharfedale as a scrum half while studying for a degree in politics and philosophy at the University of Leeds.

He made 96 appearances in four seasons and was entrusted with the captaincy by the then coach James Tiffany.

His performances earned him selection for his native Lancashire and the England Counties.

After leaving Wharfedale he played for Cornish Pirates before being snapped up by Leeds at the start of the 2012-13 campaign.

Last season he made 20 appearances for Leeds Carnegie and also assisted his former Wharfedale coach Tiffany at Otley where he helped with the backs.

Another former Wharfedale player returning to the club is back row forward James Tyson. He spent last season with Hull Ionians but has opted to return to the Greens following the Humberside club’s relegation to National Two North.