Leeds Rhinos: Training base on course for mid-summer re-opening

Gary Hetherington.
Gary Hetherington.
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WORK ON Leeds Rhinos’ flood-damaged training base is slightly ahead of schedule, but it will be at least a month before the facility reopens.

Rhinos’ rugby academy at Kirkstall was devastated when the river Aire burst its banks on Boxing Day last year.

Club offices were ruined, along with a community 3g pitch and nearby training fields were also put out of action.

Staff have since been relocated to Headingley and training has been held at various venues in Leeds.

Coach Brian McDermott and senior players have pointed to that disruption as a factor in their poor start to the season.

Chief executive Gary Hetherington said: “The 3g pitch has now been fully reinstated.

“Ourselves, Milford Marlins [the National Conference amateur club who play there] and all the community users have access to it, but that is the only thing that has been opened.

“There is a lot of work going on in the building itself, but it is probably about four weeks before anybody can get back into there.

“It was always going to be June and it won’t be far off, though we might be a few weeks ahead of schedule.”

Hetherington said the players’ gym at Kirkstall could be reinstated in the next week or two, but the grass pitches are still being repaired. He said: “The pitches were contaminated. They were covered in silt and they’ve had to be reseeded, so it will be June or July before they are in use.”

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