Where hast thou been since I saw
Jersey have made no fewer than six trips in the past 15 months to
the county known as 'God's Own' to its residents. And no wonder
they name it thus - not only does Yorkshire boast famous sons like
Frankie Howerd, Guy Fawkes and Captain James Cook, but it managed
enough Olympic medals to have finished 12th - independence
permitting - in the medals table at London 2012, and they're even
getting a couple of stages of next year's Tour de France.
Headingley is one of the county's sporting temples. It may be best
known for hosting cricket and rugby league, but the union code also
has a presence here, and the ground will play host to Sunday's
Greene King IPA Championship match between Leeds Carnegie and
Jersey will hope to build on a nerve-wracking, partly fortuitous
but also gritty win against Cornish Pirates last weekend, sealed in
the last four minutes with a Tom Brown try and two fine place-kicks
by Niall O'Connor, the second a 45-metre penalty with the game's
final act. But it's a tough act for the Island side, given that
they are away from home against a side who lie fourth in the table
and have an eye on the promotion play-offs and a possible tilt at
the Premiership. Not only that, but the home side have a point to
prove after a disappointing 26-15 defeat against London Scottish at
the RAG last weekend.
The sub-plot to Sunday's game includes a couple of Jersey old boys
who have been confirmed in the Leeds' starting XV for Sunday.
Nathan Hannay joined Leeds in the summer, although it was
mid-winter when the giant Halifax-born lock was first linked with
Carnegie, prompting an unsettling end to three seasons in
The man whose Twitter handle is @jerseybeast4 signed for the
Islanders in the summer of 2010 and made more than 50 appearances
for the 1st XV. He missed almost six months of his first season
through injury but returned to help Jersey to National Two play-off
success, scoring two tries in the 30-5 victory over Loughborough
Nathan played 26 games in 2011/12 as Jersey claimed the National
One title, and also won three Siam Cup caps. He captained the team
during the first half of the current season, and was also selected
for the representative RFU Championship XV who faced the Maori All
Blacks last November.
Jersey supporters were saddened by the departure of the large
hairy beast this summer... and there was also some disappointment
when Nathan left. [Ay-thang-kyow!]
What's up, Doc? Jersey will also face former winger David Doherty.
The Yorkshireman began his career with Leeds in 2004 before moving
on to Sale and Wasps. He spent seven months on the Island in
2010/11, making 19 appearances and scoring 19 tries. His last touch
of the ball in a red shirt was the final try against Loughborough
in the National Two play-off, before he moved to Cornish Pirates in
'Doc' then moved to Leeds in summer 2012 and last season he played
21 Championship games, scoring 13 tries, and so far in 2013/14 he
has played six times in the league and notched three tries.
News from the Jersey camp
Director of Rugby Ben Harvey has unannounced a largely unchanged
squad for Sunday's game at Headingley. Jersey's starting pack will
be the same unit as lined up at kick-off against Pirates, while the
backs will be the seven who finished last weekend's game. This
means Jimmy Williams wears the number 9 shirt, while Mark Foster
plays at wing, with Grant Pointer and Nicky Griffiths missing
Jersey's bench includes returns to the squad for Dave Markham,
Joel Dudley and Elvis Taione. Taione played 63 minutes for Tonga
against Wales tonight on Friday (the Pacific Islanders lost 17-7)
but Harvey expects him to be available if required from the bench
Jersey squad v Leeds (A) - November 24th 2013, k-o
Alex Rae (capt)
Elvis Taione, Nick Selway, Tom Fidler, Dave Markham, James Voss,
Joel Dudley, Aaron Penberthy.
Head-to-head in 2012/13
Leeds were doubly blessed last season, drawing Jersey in the
B&I Cup on top of the clubs' home-and-away league
September 2012 (league): Leeds 32 Jersey 19. Michael Le Bourgeois
claimed Jersey's first Championship try at Headingley, but this was
cancelled out by Josh Griffin, Jacob Rowan and Jamel Chisholm. Full
October 2012 (B&I): Leeds 27 Jersey 33. The first win of the
season for the Islanders in a cup match played at York RUFC
(above). Guy Thompson and Donovan Sanders got the tries, 'Booj'
landed eight kicks at goal. The report's HERE
December 2012 (league): Jersey 20 Leeds 17. A familiar scoreline
given all the 2003 World Cup nostalgia doing the rounds this week
(extended highlights on ITV? Don't mind if I do). A muddy old day
in which Doc somehow managed to score two excellent running tries
but was outdone by the hosts, who scored through a penalty try and
another by Max Stelling. See MATCH REPORT
January 2013 (B&I): Jersey 12 Leeds 27. The home side were
never at the races in this dead cup rubber (pictured above),
trailing 0-22 at the break but at least fighting back to achieve
some respectability. Full report HERE
Leeds in 2013/14
Having ended last season with play-off defeat by eventual
champions Newcastle, Carnegie faced another top-four side,
Nottingham, on the opening (double-header) day of the season, and
were disappointed to go down 24-16 at Castle Park, Doncaster.
The team had a new Head Coach in James Lowes, a former rugby
league player with Hunslet, Leeds and Bradford who was promoted
from an assistant role when former HC Diccon Edwards resigned in
Nathan Hannay was among a clutch of signings that also included
fly-half Glynn Hughes from Moseley and the permanent capture of
prop James Currie, who joined on loan from Worcester last season.
Leeds are led by Jacob Rowan for the second season - the
23-year-old is still one of the division's youngest skippers.
The team found their form on the road with consecutive wins on the
road against the Pirates (20-27) and Bedford (28-29). The match
against Ealing at Headingley on October 4th was the latest home
start to a league season in Leeds' history, and they marked the
occasion with nine tries in a 64-3 thumping of the newly-promoted
The B&I brought mixed fortunes, with defeat at Bristol and a
home walloping of Gala (Ealing, and then some) before another away
win in the league at Moseley (18-27) and then a chance to test
themselves against the unbeaten league leaders. Carnegie performed
creditably against London Welsh but eventually went down 24-31.
This was followed by a hard-fought home win over Rotherham (19-10)
prior to last weekend's defeat at London Scottish.
Top try-scorer for Leeds with four so far this season is full-back
Stevie McColl, who joined Jersey's Guy Thompson and eventual winner
Tim Streather of Nottingham on the short-list for the Championship
Player of the Year award last season. Fly-half Alex Lozowski, whose
father Rob won a lone cap for England in 1984 while a player with
Wasps, has kicked 68 points with a success rate of 86%.
Leeds W5 L3 record places them fourth in the table at the time of
writing. The Yorkshire side have scored 26 league tries thus far,
one noticeable stat being the high proportion scored by the backs,
with the starting forwards registering just five so far, including
a penalty try.
Leeds' average attendance so far this season is 2,328, sneaking
ahead of Jersey (2,314) but behind Bedford (2,407) and of course
Bristol (32 men and a couple of dogs shy of 5,000).
Lowes has made six changes to his side for this weekend's game,
including giving Hannay his first start since the opening match
against Nottingham. The full details of the Leeds line-up can be
History of Leeds Rugby Union
The history of Leeds Carnegie is a cocktail of different aged
components, matured separately before being combined during more
recent times and blended into a series of modern
Headingley Football Club were founded in 1878 and played games
on Cardigan Fields, site of the current ground. The club withstood
a lean spell for rugby in Yorkshire during the early part of the
20th Century, and after the Great War, but in the 1930s was
prospering with excellent facilities, impressive results and
Two notable names from the 1960s were Ian McGeechan and John
Spencer, who won 32 and eight caps respectively for Scotland and
England and have each gone on to great deeds off the field. Spencer
(pictured below) was encountered by Jersey when they played the
Wharfedale club of which he is now President in January 2012, while
McGeechan's career has gone full circle and he is now back at Leeds
as Executive Chairman.
In the 1980s Peter Winterbottom was the most notable Headingley
player of his era, winning 58 caps for England and seven for the
Lions. His father John, a member since 1950, also played a key role
in the history of Leeds, brokering the merger with Roundhay that
led to the formation of Leeds RUFC in 1992.
Roundhay were formed in 1924 and had a golden era in the 1950s
which included a first-ever appearance in the Yorkshire Cup Final.
The loss to the Royal Signals was finally avenged in 1975 when
England internationals Richard Cardus and Keith Smith helped
Roundhay defeat Headingley 20-16 in a replay which followed a
Merger discussions were initiated by John Winterbottom with a
view to forming a single, much larger club from Headingley,
Roundhay and Morley. Morley subsequently withdrew, but the merger
was finalised in July 1992 with the first game played two months
The new club climbed the leagues and appointed professionals
Colin Stephens (Youth Development Officer) and Phil Davies
(Director of Rugby) in 1995 and 1996, as well as moving to
Headingley Stadium. In 1998 the modern era truly arrived when rugby
union in Leeds became a brand, namely Leeds Tykes, in partnership
with the city's league brethren the Rhinos under the ownership of
Leeds Rugby Limited, and by September 2001 the Tykes had reached
the Premiership, then sponsored by Zurich.
The highlights of a five-season stint in the top flight were
finishing fifth in 2002/03, earning qualification for the Heineken
Cup, and lifting the Powergen Cup in 2005. But the cup success was
followed by relegation 12 months later, inspite of the presence of
star names like Justin Marshall and Gordon Bulloch in the
The most recent incarnation of the club saw Leeds Carnegie
formed in 2007 after the club returned to the Premiership and
formed a partnership with Leeds Metropolitan University, who
acquired a 51% share in the club. The Carnegie names came from the
Scottish entrepreneur and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie whose
Carnegie Trust funded the establishment of a PE teaching training
college in 1933. Carnegie College is now the Carnegie Faculty of
Sport and Education within Leeds Metropolitan University.
Current England Coach Stuart Lancaster was involved with the
club for 16 years, serving as Director of Rugby before leaving in
2008 to join the England set-up. He was replaced by Andy Key, while
England flanker Neil Back became Head Coach. The yo-yo existence
continued with two seasons at the top level, attracting home crowds
of between 4,000 and 10,000, followed by relegation in 2011 and a
mid-table performance in 2011/12 (6th in the league, 3rd in
promotion pool B).
In May 2009 it was announced that the club was re-structuring
with former Wales and British Lion international Gareth Davies
joining a new board of Directors, and Leeds Rugby taking control of
the club once again.
In order to attract further financial support for the club,
Leeds Met has returned its 51% stake in the club to Leeds Rugby and
agreed a revised strategic partnership arrangement, which includes
sponsorship. The name of the club remained as Leeds Carnegie
Davies, who is a former Chief Executive of Cardiff RFC and BBC
Wales Head of Sport, is the new Dean of the Carnegie Faculty of
Sport & Education at Leeds Met and he will represent the
university on a new board, which is headed up by Paul Caddick, the
property and construction entrepreneur and former Headingley lock,
Following the game
Don't forget that you can keep up-to-speed with news from Leeds v
Jersey v through the following channels:
• Live BBC Radio Jersey commentary on Sunday afternoon (available
online and on your transistor-wireless device).
• Preview in Friday's JEP, and full match coverage on Monday
• Scoreflashes on @jerseyrfc Twitter and the 'Rolling Maul' rugby
• Reports and match action on Channel TV online and on Monday
evening at 6.15pm; and on BBC Channel Islands on Monday evening at
The Greene King IPA Championship this
Round Nine got underway with a remarkable comeback by Bedford
Blues who fought back from a 3-13 deficit at Brickfields to beat
Plymouth Albion 16-27 and register just their second league win of
the season, moving up to ninth in the table as a result.
Saturday's games see Rotherham host Nottingham while Moseley take
on London Welsh at Billesley Common.
On Sunday Ealing will hope the passion of a local derby against
London Scottish will inspire their players to translate improved
recent form into results, while Cornish Pirates host Bristol and
will hope to upset Andy Robinson's men for the second time this
season after their narrow opening day success, as well as to
recover from their defeat in Jersey.
Many Jersey players are also taking part, with Dave Markham
(above) arguably the leading exponent, taking Movember so seriously
that he had a practice run at the start of the season before being
allegedly instructed by management to 'de-slug.'
Having featured Nathan Hannay's hound earlier, let's hope
there's no canine involvement on the pitch this weekend. A couple
of weeks back the National Two North game between Caldy and
Harrogate featured a pitch invasion. The intruder couldn't stop
Caldy's Gavin Roberts from scoring a try (as shown above), but did
deter him from getting near the posts, leading to a missed
conversion and a bonus point in defeat (24-17) for Harrogate that
they may otherwise have missed out on. Could make for some
interesting discussions at the end of the season if the point is
crucial, as well as to some timely reminders that this isn't really
a laughing matter and that dogs can deliver nasty infections if
they are allowed to roam on sports pitches.
Other rugby action involving Jersey sides includes Saturday's home
game for Jersey Athletic against Cinderford (ko 2pm), while on
Sunday Banks Ladies host Lewes at Grainville at 1.30pm and Jersey
Colts are away at Trojans.
Enjoy your weekend's rugby!
Why not come a chillout in the supporters marquee before the game, A fully stocked bar and food is available, seated and standing tables, on a first come first served basis and a great place to meet the Reds supporters.