DISBANDED | The stunning XV of stars who came through the Leeds academy - Ruck

DISBANDED | The stunning XV of stars who came through the Leeds academy

Rugby Union in England’s biggest county received a major blow today with the news that Yorkshire Carnegie’s RFU licensed academy has been disbanded, according to The Rugby Paper.

They’ve reported that ‘Seven members of staff and three senior academy players were called into Headingley on Monday and made redundant.’

Here, we celebrate one of rugby’s greatest ever academies by looking through an all-time XV of graduates:

*Profiles from the Yorkshire Carnegie website

Fullback: Rob Vickerman (2005-09 and 2013-2015)

Rob joined Leeds in 2001 and was developed through the club’s Academy system. He was identified as a prospect for the future and one of the highlights of his time in the Academy was winning the National Colts Cup in 2004. He made his senior debut in the 2005-06 season, against Llanelli Scarlets in the Powergen Cup. Rob left the club at the end of the 2008-09 season to join Newcastle Falcons, having helped the team secure promotion back to the Premiership and making a total of 53 appearances and scoring 11 tries. During his time at Leeds Rob represented England U16’s Schools before graduating to England U19 for the World Championships in South Africa in 2004. In 2005 Rob played for England in the IRB Paris Sevens and during the 2008-09 season was part of the England Sevens side who won the Wellington Sevens.  He returned to the club in 2013 for a two season spell at the club, before injury ended his playing career. 

Wing: David Doherty (2004-06, 2012-2016)

Local born David Doherty originally joined the club on a dual code contract but never made a first team appearance for the Rhinos, instead making his Leeds Tykes debut in 2004 aged 17, to become the youngest ever player to play in the Premiership. Doherty, who captained England U18 Clubs, made a bigger impact the following season when he scored a try to secure Leeds’ place in their first ever Cup final at Twickenham. He made a total of 25 appearances for the side and scored 7 tries before leaving the club in 2006 to join London Wasps. In 2005 David represented England U19 in the Six Nations tournament.

Centre: Luther Burrell (2006-2011)

Huddersfield born centre Luther Burrell made his first team debut against Pertemps Bees in the 2006-07 season, after excelling in the Academy set up. In the 2007-08 season he once again broke through to the first team squad, making his Guinness Premiership debut against Saracens. Alongside his development with the first team Luther also played a pivotal role in the Academy team. Luther has also experienced playing Rugby League and before joining his local Rugby Union side spent two years with Huddersfield RL.

Centre: Alex Lozowski (2012-2014)

Full back, Alex Lozowski, made his Leeds Carnegie debut against Pontypridd in the British and Irish Cup during the 2012-13 season, aged 19. He is the son of former England and Wasps centre Rob and previously played for the Wasps Academy. 

Wing: Tom Biggs (2004-2009)

He is one of the most successful products of the Leeds Academy. He emerged through the Academy system to make his debut in 2004 and did not look back, becoming the team’s highest try scorer in the club’s history with 51. Tom won international recognition with England 7’s and England Saxons during his time at Leeds before leaving the club in 2009 to join Newcastle Falcons.