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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."

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Aviva Premiership Rugby Table
Sunday, 26 March 2017 16:56 UK
  Team P PD PTS
1 Wasps 18 173 69
2 Exeter 18 160 64
3 Saracens 18 213 63
4 Leicester 18 73 51
5 Bath 18 25 48
6 Harlequins 18 23 47
7 Northampton 18 12 45
8 Gloucester 18 27 40
9 Newcastle 18 -140 36
10 Sale 18 -105 30
11 Worcester 18 -185 26
12 Bristol 18 -276 17

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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