Leeds Carnegie have today confirmed that Head Coach Neil Back has resigned from his position as Head Coach with immediate effect.
The decision follows the club’s relegation from the Aviva Premiership last weekend. The club will now begin the process of replacing Back for next season as they embark on plans to regain their top flight status at the first opportunity.
Commenting on the announcement Chief Executive Gary Hetherington said, “Having met with Neil, he has informed me of his intention to move on at the end of the season to enable him to look for a new challenge. I would like to thank Neil for all his efforts during the past three years when he has helped move the club forward into a stronger position. In his first season, we won promotion and last season we defied the odds to retain our place in the Premiership. However, this year we have fallen short by the smallest of margins on the final day of the season and that comes as a disappointment to all of us.”
After an illustrious playing career with Leicester, England, the British and Irish Lions and the Barbarians, Back initially made the move into coaching with the Tigers working with the first team and Academy squad. In 2008 he arrived at Leeds Carnegie as Head Coach with Andy Key as Director of Rugby. In their first season, Leeds recorded a club record 23 consecutive victories, only losing twice away from home, on their way to promotion. Last season, Leeds finished tenth in the Premiership with seven wins and a draw along with six losing bonus points. At the end of the season, a major reshaping of the squad was undertaken however long-term injuries to key personnel such as Andy Titterrell, Marco Wentzel, Sean Hohneck and Lachlan MacKay hit the squad and despite a heroic late rally, Leeds were condemned to relegation by points difference following defeat at Northampton.
Commenting on his decision, the 42 year old said, “The experiences over the last three years have been incredible in terms of my personal and coaching development. I am very passionate about what I do and I have thrived on the challenge over the past three years, however taking all things into account, I feel I have taken Leeds as far as I can.
“I am very proud of what Leeds Carnegie has achieved over the last three years against the odds and I wish Leeds all the success for the future.”