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Page last updated at 10:15 GMT, Monday, 30 June 2008 11:15 UK

Leeds unveil Tigers' Key and Back

Neil Back
Back guided Leicester's reserves to the Guinness A League title

National League One side Leeds Carnegie have unveiled Andy Key and Neil Back as their new management team.

The pair leave their positions at Premiership side Leicester Tigers, as Key becomes director of rugby and Back head coach at Headingley.

Key said: "Neil and I are massively excited by the challenge ahead.

"We recognise the situation that the club finds itself in and we want to put Leeds Carnegie back in the Guinness Premiership next year."

Key, 49, was the Tigers' head of rugby development, while World Cup winner Back, 39, had been part of the coaching staff since his retirement three years ago.


The duo have signed three-year-deals and replace Stuart Lancaster, who has become the Rugby Football Union's head of elite player development.

The former Leicester players will be charged with taking Leeds straight back into the Guinness Premiership after their relegation last season.

Key added: "We both come from a background of success but we are not naive to the challenges that face us in National Division One.

"However, as outsiders we can see that Leeds are an established club, who know what they want and, although they fell short last season, they have a squad and backroom staff who are hugely enthusiastic and committed."

Former England captain and Lions player Back had been in the running to take over the head coach role at Leicester, who have since appointed Blue Bulls' Heyneke Meyer.

Back explained: "I have had some fantastic times at Leicester and it was a big decision to take myself out of the application process for the director of rugby position there and end my long association with the club.

"After meeting chief executive Gary Hetherington and seeing the set-up both at the club's training ground and at Leeds Met, I knew that Leeds presented me with the ideal opportunity to further my coaching career."

Leeds chief executive Gary Hetherington said Back and Key's appointments represent a new era in the club's history.

"Over the past 12 years, the club has changed remarkably and now the challenge for Andy and Neil is to take us forward to the next level," he said.

Neil and Andy know they will always be made welcome at Welford Road

Leicester chairman Peter Tom

"The immediate aim is to return to the Premiership and both coaches will take charge of pre-season training on Monday to begin preparations for our National Division One campaign."

Leicester chairman Peter Tom described Back as a "Leicester Tigers legend" and said the pair left Welford Road on good terms.

"I have spoken to Neil and Andy and, on behalf of the club, wished them well," said Tom.

"Tigers will offer them as much support as possible in their new roles, and they know they will always be made welcome at Welford Road."

see also
Leicester poised to appoint Meyer
30 Jun 08 |  Leicester
Lancaster takes up role with RFU
06 May 08 |  English
Leicester dismiss coach Loffreda
06 Jun 08 |  Leicester

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