Yorkshire Carnegie have been relegated but director of rugby Phil Davies is confident the club can rebuild and confirmed they will now revert back to their former name of Leeds.
Phil Davies, who returned to the club in January, said: “Unfortunately, relegation was inevitable given the results we had suffered this season.
Davies excited by future despite relegation confirmation— Yorkshire Carnegie (@carnegierugby) April 2, 2020
➡️ Click here to read the reaction from Director of Rugby Phil Davies following confirmation of our relegation from @Champrugby today https://t.co/X9yzco8Kne pic.twitter.com/MwkyrZjMl5
“But it is a shame for the lads who gave so much this season that they have not had the chance to finish off the campaign.
“I can only talk about since the turn of the year but I’ve seen how much hard work they have put in on a part-time basis and there were shoots of recovery coming.
“This is an end of one era that has seen the club rise to the top two divisions, win a Cup at Twickenham, play amongst the elite in Europe, produce numerous internationals as well as offering countless chances for local players to play professional rugby union.
- Rugby stadium to be turned into huge 2,000-bed hospital
- England star slams ‘boring’ Six Nations TV coverage
- Owen Farrell’s fights: Five of his iconic SCRAPS
- 20 times Joe Marler didn’t give a RUCK
- Lawrence Dallaglio names his Lions XV for 2021
“But it is time now for a new era. Playing in National One next season offers us an opportunity to rebuild the club, reset our culture and principles and set the values we want to instil.
“We want to re-engage with the universities in our city, the general public and businesses in Leeds and find a new way to forge for the people of Leeds a rugby union club they can be proud of again.”
Yorkshire XV: How would an all-time team of players born in God’s Own County look?
While Yorkshire has always been a regional hotbed of rugby, the county has often been more focussed on rugby league.
However, when looking at the players who have come from there down the years it’s clear and obvious there is still a love for the union side of the game.
Here is a starting 15 of the best rugby union players from Yorkshire:
Fullback: Jason Robinson
Born in Leeds, the 44-year-old was a English dual-code international in rugby league, and rugby union throughout 1990s and 2000s.
Playing as a wing or fullback, he won fifty-one rugby union international caps for England, winning the World Cup in 2003, and in rugby league he won twelve caps for Great Britain, and seven for England.
Winger: Rory Underwood
The winger, born in Middlesborough, starred for the British & Irish Lions, England, Leicester Tigers and the Royal Air Force. He still holds the record for the highest number of tries in England colours with a total of 49.
Centre: Sir Ian Mcgeechan
McGeechan was born in Leeds to a Glaswegian father, going onto represent Scotland 32 times while also winning 8 caps for the British & Irish Lions across two tours (1975 & 1977).
It was a coach that he really made his name, being a part of five British & Irish Lions tours while also having roles at Wasps, Northampton, Scotland and Yorkshire Carnegie down the years.
Centre: Mike Tindall
Arguably one of England’s most consistent performers of his era, Mike Tindall, who was born in Otley, was a key member of the side that captured the Rugby World Cup crown in 2003. But his career, which was at times a stop-start affair because of injury.
Winger: John Bentley
The speedster was a big, fast and aggressive wing who played four times for England between 1988 – 1999. Inbetween he switched codes and played international rugby league for Great Britain while representing Leeds, Halifax and a short stint with Balmain in Australia.
After rugby union turned professional he reverted back to it- a code in which he had made his international debut against Ireland in 1988 – and signed for the Newcastle Falcons before touring with the British & Irish Lions in 1997.