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Page last updated at 12:24 GMT, Friday, 18 December 2009

Leeds Carnegie coach Simon Middleton praises youngsters

Leeds Carnegie's Tom Denton
Second row Tom Denton has scored two tries for Carnegie this season

Leeds Carnegie coach Simon Middleton has praised the contribution the academy players have made to the club.

Fly-half Joe Ford, centre Luther Burrell, lock Tom Denton and prop Phil Swainston have all graduated to feature for the senior side this season.

"We know we can rely on these kids to come straight into the first team and be a hand full," Middleton told BBC Radio Leeds.

"Credit most go to them all for taking their chances and working hard."

Other young players that have featured this season include full-back Peter Wackett, hooker George Warner and flanker Jacob Rowan, who shone in the 10-6 win over Bucuresti Oaks in Romania in the Challenge Cup.

Full credit has to go to Diccon Edwards and Luffers [Mark Luffman] for the way they have developed the kids in the academy. They are really backing us up and trying to cement what we are trying to do

Simon Middleton

Middleton explained: "Jacob was a shining light in Romania. We have great competition at seven with young Calum Clark pushing Hendre Fourie really hard. So it's great to have two young lads in that position doing really well.

"Across the board the lads that have come up from the A team to the first team have really stepped up. Joe Ford has been fantastic for us and he's really developed at such great speed that he's now putting real pressure on Ceiron Thomas.

"You look across the line and you see Luther Burrell who is a handful whenever he plays and that's true of all of the kids.

"Tom Denton has adjusted his game from playing second-row to six and has done great, while Phil Swainston never lets you down when he comes in at prop.

"Full credit has to go to Diccon Edwards and Luffers [Mark Luffman] for the way they have developed the kids in the academy. They are really backing us up and trying to cement what we are trying to do."



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