Leeds ready for million pound game
April 19, 2010
Leeds' Jon Goodridge dives over to score a try during their upset win over London Irish on Sunday © Getty Images
Leeds Carnegie are set for the biggest game in the club's history when they take on Worcester this Sunday in a game that could cement their Guinness Premiership status and condemn their rivals to relegation.
The Yorkshire-based side's stunning Premiership upset of London Irish last weekend means that victory over the Warriors in the penultimate round of the regular season would see them not only guarantee top flight rugby next season but also an extra million pounds for the club.
Speaking ahead of the eagerly-anticipated showdown, Leeds chief executive Gary Hetherington has labelled the game as the most significant in the club's history. At the start of the season, Hetherington negotiated with Premier Rugby, the umbrella organisation representing England's leading clubs, that should Leeds beat the odds and survive their first season back in the Premiership having won promotion last season, they would be accelerated to a full shareholder in the competition and gain equal funding as their rivals.
Leeds have been amongst the form teams in the competition since the turn of the year winning five of the ten games in 2010 to move off the bottom of the table and into ninth place in the table. Looking ahead to Sunday's game, Hetherington said, "The win at London Irish sets up this Sunday's clash with Worcester as a massive game for both clubs. I think this is the most significant event in the clubs history given its importance and what is at stake for the future of the team and club. To retain our Premiership status, which has been our major goal since the start of the season, would be a remarkable achievement by the players and coaching staff and would provide the opportunity to go forward like never before.
"To achieve parity as a Premiership club and to be an equal shareholder is now within our sight and that would be hugely significant for professional rugby union in Yorkshire," added Hetherington."
Leeds Carnegie are hoping to attract their biggest crowd of the season for the winner-takes-all clash. Thousands of fans are expected to travel up from Worcester for this must win game for the Warriors and Hetherington says it is now time for the Yorkshire public to show their support for their team. He added, "Sunday is not only a test of the teams ability to handle the pressure and deliver the goods but it is also an opportunity for every Rugby Union fan in the county to play their part.
"We have long held the belief that a healthy supporter base exists in Yorkshire provided we can deliver a competitive Premiership team. I do believe that Neil Back, Andy Key and the lads have done their part on the field to date and now it is time for the fans to show that they can deliver too."
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