Leeds Carnegie: Georgiou provides a blueprint for success

Christian Georgiou.
Christian Georgiou.
Have your say

When Leeds Carnegie talk about being a club for the county that harnesses the best talent Yorkshire has to offer, they have players like Christian Georgiou in mind.

At 22, the Halifax-born flier has made a place on the Leeds wing his own in recent weeks, with a try in the derby win over Rotherham Titans last Saturday just rewards for his opportunism and patience.

He has been made to wait and has taken a circuitous route to the club’s first team but it is one that offers a blueprint to any aspiring youngster hoping to join the Yorkshire Carnegie revolution.

Georgiou first joined the club’s academy when they were still the Tykes back in 2005.

Through the ranks he climbed, winning the Yorkshire Cup with a development Carnegie team four years later.

But it was the opportunity he was given as an 18-year-old to try his hand at first-team rugby with Otley, that gave him the best grounding.

“I’ve been at Leeds all my career, but I went out on loan at Wharfedale for the past two seasons and I had two years at Otley prior to that,” said Georgiou.

“The dual-registration system has been good to me, it’s given me first-team rugby right throughout my development, even if it’s just at the lower levels.

“I think what this club is trying to do next year is the right way to go about it.

“It’s a good set-up, good coaching staff and it’s a great place to learn your trade.

“It’s given me the chance to show what I can do in the Championship and that’s all I’m trying to do now, just take my chance.”

And take it he has.

Given only a fourth start of the season by head coach James Lowes against Plymouth Albion in the British and Irish Cup earlier this month, he has not looked back since.

The victory over Rotherham all-but secured Leeds in third place in the Greene King IPA Championship, and a semi-final date with London Welsh. Leeds need just a point tonight against Headingley visitors Cornish Pirates to secure third spot, not that Leeds will settle for that.

Georgiou added: “The victory over Rotherham gives us a lot of confidence but all we’re thinking about is momentum going into the play-offs and we’ve just got to keep that going now.”

Five more players have re-signed at Headingley.

Winger Oli Goss, hooker Joe Graham, second-row Nathan Hannay and prop Ben Hooper have all penned one-year deals.

Young back-row forward Jack Barnard, meanwhile, who made his Championship debut for the Leeds club a fortnight ago against Plymouth Albion, has agreed a new two-year contract with Carnegie.

Ireland's Conor Murray and Joey Carbery celebrate winning the grand slam at Twickenham

When the wheels came off England’s chariot