Following the Championship winning campaign of 2006-07, it was announced that Leeds Beckett University had entered into a joint venture with the club and taken a majority stake in Leeds Tykes, with the club renamed Leeds Carnegie for their return to the Premiership Rugby competition. The change of ownership was seen as a ground breaking arrangement in British sport with an educational institution taking over ownership of a professional sporting organisation.
The team enjoyed success in the Premiership under the coaching duo of Neil Back and Andy Key and, against the odds, stayed up the following season, defeating Worcester Warriors at Headingley in the crucial deciding game to condemn the Warriors to relegation. Despite a massive increase in spending the following year, Carnegie were unable to retain their Premiership status with a heart breaking defeat at Northampton on the final day of the season when they were relegated by a single league point.
In May 2009 it was announced that, following promotion back to the Premiership Rugby competition that the club was re-structuring with Leeds Rugby taking control of the club once again.
In order to attract further financial support for the club, Leeds Beckett returned its 51% stake in the club to Leeds Rugby and agreed a revised strategic partnership arrangement, which included sponsorship.
The name Carnegie comes from the Scottish entrepreneur and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie whose Carnegie Trust funded the establishment of a PE teaching training college in 1930s. Carnegie College is now the Carnegie Faculty of Sport and Education within Leeds Metropolitan University.
During the period 2007-2014 127 players made their debuts for the club and 29 of these played full international rugby during their careers.
Leeds Carnegie Player Debuts 2007-2014
127 players made their debuts for Leeds Carnegie in the period 1st September 2007 to 30th April 2014.
29 of these players full international rugby during their careers (highlighted in yellow in the document below).
On 9th July 2014 following support from the Yorkshire RFU and approval from the RFU, Sir Ian McGeechan revealed plans to create Yorkshire Carnegie from the start point of Leeds Carnegie and put in place the foundations to create a sustainable and successful club for the county at the elite level of the game.
Commenting on the launch, Sir Ian McGeechan said, “Our vision remains to produce and sustain a Premiership team in Yorkshire, based on Yorkshire talent with Yorkshire support.”
Yorkshire has long been associated with the success at the elite level of the game of Rugby Union. One in seven of all English born, full internationals for England were born in Yorkshire.
Despite narrowly losing a two-legged play-off against London Irish, ultimately the ambitions sadly went unrealised leading to the club overcommitting resources ahead of the 2019-20 season. The club went through a CVA and started that season with a decimated squad and were relegated to National One with winning a single game. The onset of Covid-19 shortened the pain.
Phil Davies returned in January 2020 to start the re-building process that would lead to the next chapter.
Yorkshire Carnegie Player Debuts 2014-2020
166 players made their debuts for Yorkshire Carnegie in the period 1st September 2014 to 30th April 2020.
9 of these played full international rugby during their careers (highlighted in yellow in the document below).