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RFU Championship
McGeechan launches Yorkshire powerhouse
ESPN Staff
February 11, 2014
Gary Hetherington and Sir Ian McGeechan at the launch of the new Yorkshire club. © PA Photos
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Leeds Carnegie have rebranded themselves as Yorkshire Carnegie as they seek to broaden their appeal across the county.

Chairman Sir Ian McGeechan unveiled the new plans on Tuesday as the club seeks to rejoin the Aviva Premiership after leaving the top flight in 2011.

The Championship club 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."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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