sport

Leeds set for rebrand

Leeds Carnegie will change their name to Yorkshire Carnegie from next season in an effort to broaden the Championship club's appeal.

Sir Ian McGeechan, the former British and Irish Lions coach who is chairman of the Leeds club, on Tuesday unveiled plans for the launch of the new professional outfit at Headingley.

The club, who have twice flirted with the Premiership, will continue to play at Headingley in order to meet minimum standards for the top flight, but with a remit to create a powerhouse for the game in England.

McGeechan said: "Undoubtedly the player pool within the county is as strong as ever and we have successfully created an academy structure that benefits all clubs across the county and the time is right now to spread that philosophy to the senior structure.

"We now face a crossroads if we are able to create a sustainable future for the professional side of the game.

"The only way we can fulfil this vision is to bring together all interested parties and create a new board to enable Yorkshire Carnegie to have the resources to compete with the very best."

The venture has the blessing of the Yorkshire RFU and England head coach Stuart Lancaster, a former Leeds coach.

Leeds Rugby chief executive Gary Hetherington said: "Leeds Carnegie, Rotherham and Doncaster have all tried to create a winning team on the field to gain and retain a place in the Premiership.

"Clearly, by leveraging talent and support across Yorkshire that gives us the best chance possible of succeeding.

"This year marks the 150th anniversary of rugby being played in Leeds for the first time which presents a timely opportunity for us to examine a way forward for the game."