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Page last updated at 18:00 GMT, Sunday, 8 May 2011 19:00 UK

Neil Back resigned to Leeds relegation from Premiership

Neil Back and the Leeds team
Back commiserates with his team after the loss at Northampton on Saturday

Neil Back thinks his Leeds side will be in the Championship next season after finishing bottom of the Premiership.

Leeds were beaten 31-24 by Northampton in their final league game but could beat the drop if Cornish Pirates beat Worcester in the Championship final.

The Pirates cannot be promoted because their stadium in Penzance does not meet the top league's entry requirements.

But Back said: "Over two games, I can only see one winner. My money, if I was a betting man, would be on Worcester."

Leeds could have secured their top-flight status if they had managed a fourth try at Franklin's Gardens on Saturday, the bonus point which would in all probability have sent Newcastle down instead.

However, the defeat left Leeds level on 23 points with the Falcons but bottom because of an inferior points difference.

The Pirates' Premiership ineligibility leaves the door ajar for Leeds to remain in the top division but World Cup winner Back remains realistic about his team's prospects.

We have a debt of £2m that we need to begin repaying that has been amassed over the past two years

Leeds chief executive Gary Hetherington

"I didn't watch Worcester's semi-final game against Bedford [Worcester won by a point] but I think that has been their scare," he said.

"I think they have too much quality in their team that they won't let it happen again."

With debts of £2m, Leeds look set to lose a number of high-profile players, including England flanker Hendre Fourie, while Back's future in Yorkshire could also be in doubt.

Leeds chief executive Gary Hetherington said he will be meeting the former Leicester flanker on Wednesday to review the season.

"The board will then approve the budget for next season and we will be planning for life in the Championship regardless of the play-off final result," he said.

"Compared with our previous two relegations, we are in a much stronger position with more than 20 players contracted for next season, a dozen players out of contract and only three players who have release clauses in the event of relegation.

"We have a debt of £2m that we need to begin repaying that has been amassed over the past two years.

"However, we continue to produce exciting young players through our academy, we have a community programme that is the envy of many of our rivals and, planning permission dependent, we will begin work on renovating the [Headingley] south stand this autumn.

"We will go into the Championship aiming to bounce back at the first opportunity, but realise the challenge that is in front of us."

Print Sponsor

Aviva Premiership Rugby Table
Sunday, 1 May 2016 17:11 UK
  Team P PD PTS
1 Saracens 21 180 75
2 Exeter 21 186 69
3 Wasps 21 175 67
4 Leicester 21 45 64
5 Northampton 21 55 56
6 Harlequins 21 2 55
7 Sale 21 -9 54
8 Gloucester 21 14 49
9 Bath 21 -36 43
10 Worcester 21 -153 35
11 Newcastle 21 -193 26
12 London Irish 21 -266 20

see also
Northampton 31-24 Leeds
07 May 11 |  English
Bath 42-12 Newcastle Falcons
07 May 11 |  English
Guscott's predictions
07 May 11 |  English
Rugby union in the North is dying
07 May 11 |  Rugby Union
Leeds 3-38 Harlequins
24 Apr 11 |  Rugby Union

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