Leeds Carnegie will be good value insists chief

Gary Hetherington.
Gary Hetherington.
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Gary Hetherington insists Leeds Carnegie’s squad will be stronger in 2012-13 than it was last season.

Carnegie will run with a full-time squad of 30 players next term and while the club will be working within a considerably smaller rugby budget of £1.8m, Hetherington is confident that Diccon Edwards’ troops will be in the shake-up at the top end of the Championship.

A total of 19 players from last season have not been retained, including a number who were still on Premiership wages. But with some shrewd additions to bolster a young and hungry squad, Hetherington – who confirmed the club plan to deepen their partnership with Sale Sharks – feels good times are ahead.

The chief executive, who says Carnegie’s budget will be on a par with all their leading Championship rivals, said: “While it (rugby budget cut) looks quite dramatic, we think our squad at the start of next season will be stronger than what it was, in terms of performance.

“Last year, nobody else would have been spending what we did.

“I’d qualify that by saying a lot of that was money we had to spend because otherwise you were breaking contracts.

“This year, we’ve got that under control and have retained the players we want to retain on sensible money and have got new players coming in with ambition.

“In terms of attracting players, we don’t have a problem when you look at our training facilities compared to those at clubs where they have come from. It’s a good spot to play rugby.”

Wharfedale tryscorer, Rhys Lovegrove. PIC: Wharfedale RUFC

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