Leeds Carnegie have announced that second row Jon Pendlebury has become the first player to commit to a new contract with the club after agreeing a new two year deal.

The former Rotherham and Gloucester lock, who had been out of contract at the end of the season, admits he is looking forward to a fresh start next season. He commented, “It was a frustrating season for me last year because of the injury and it was obviously frustrating for the rest of the guys because of the results on the field. However, the start of pre-season and the arrival of a new Head Coach makes it a fresh start for me and I can not wait to get back out there.”

Pendlebury had been linked with his former club at Rotherham however he says that remaining at Leeds Carnegie was his first priority. “I had agreed to join Rotherham on loan last season as a way of getting some gametime when I was fit and ready to play again. Unfortunately by the time I was fit, Rotherham had no more games and it never worked out however there was some misperception that I had signed for them for this season, which was not the case. My intention was always to try and prove my worth to Leeds Carnegie. I was fit for the last four games of the season but unfortunately did not have the opportunity to show what I can do.

“The club are in a tough position at the moment but we will all be pulling together to get us back in to the Aviva Premiership next season. We return for pre-season training on 13th June and the new Head Coach will be in place by then and we can start to look forward and put the past behind us,” added Pendlebury.

Pendlebury, who was nominated for the Aviva Premiership Community Player of the Year award for his efforts off the field last season, feels that he is coming into his prime as a professional rugby player and is excited about the year ahead. He added, “I am still only 28, I think people think I am an older because I have been around for so long but this will be my tenth pre-season and I am ready to produce my best next season. We know it is going to be a tough competition with big derby games against Doncaster and Rotherham plus the likes of Cornish Pirates, Nottingham, Bedford and London Welsh will be pushing hard again.

“However we have plenty to be positive about. We have got some fantastic youngsters here and we are looking to create a team ethos that will make us a strong unit. It is a fresh start for everyone and we need to make the most of it,” added Pendlebury.