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Leeds Carnegie to revert to previous name of Leeds Tykes

Yorkshire Carnegie rugby union side are reverting to their old name of Leeds Tykes and will leave Headingley.

The club was relegated from the Championship to National League One, England's third tier, last season after financial problems.

The club was known as Leeds Tykes until 2006 and dropped out of the Premiership in 2011.

"We felt it was better to get back to our community and Leeds roots," new chairman Alastair Da Costa said.

"We probably lost a bit of that with the name Yorkshire, we got carried away perhaps with our ambition to dominate things in Yorkshire," he added to BBC Radio Leeds.

The club became Leeds Carnegie in 2006 after a tie-up with what was Leeds Carnegie University before becoming Yorkshire Carnegie in 2014.

They spent eight seasons in the Premiership between 2001 and 2011, finishing as high as fifth in 2003 and qualifying for the following season's Heineken Cup.

But the club has struggled in recent years in the Championship and sold its Premiership Rugby shareholding to Exeter in October 2012 for around £5m.

They lost all 13 games they played in the Championship before the league was curtailed due to coronavirus in March meaning they will play in the third tier of English rugby for the first time in more than 20 years.

The club will now base itself at West Park Leeds rugby club, although they hope to play a few games at their former home as they are run by chief executive Gary Heat­he­rington who holds a similar role at Headingley-based Leeds Rhinos.

Former Wales inter­national and Namibia coach Phil Davies worked as the club's director of rugby last season and will continue to help the side when they start life in National League One this autumn.

"Phil has a really significant part to play, not only in the rugby side, but in the external front of Leeds Tykes and he's already been doing some great things around building community links and fundraising. Hopefully it'll attract players as well," added Da Costa.

"We're not kidding ourselves, we're now a part-time club in the third tier.

"I think what has happened in the past six months all rugby clubs are thinking about their operational activity and how they best structure themselves and it's really help for us to have someone like Phil who can attract great pleasures from around the country."

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