Leeds Carnegie are to be known as Yorkshire Carnegie from next season as the club bids to enhance its prospects of sustaining an existence in the Premiership.
In a radical move, the Championship promotion-chasers formed out of the merger between Headingley and Roundhay in 1992, will drop Leeds from their title to create a super club for the whole county.
The new Yorkshire team will be run by a new board but will use existing Carnegie players, staff and facilities and remain at Headingley stadium.
The idea is the brainchild of Sir Ian McGeechan, who sees the move as the only sustainable way to create a side to represent the county at the highest level and create an integrated Yorkshire-wide system.
McGeechan, the club’s executive chairman, said: “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.”
McGeechan is appealing for financial support from across Yorkshire to help ensure the venture succeeds.