- Leeds kick off Championship campaign against Nottingham on Friday
- That top four will be a lot harder this year – Rowan
Photo: RFU Archive
After a disappointing mid-table finish last season, former Premiership outfit Leeds Carnegie are eager to prove themselves in the 2012/13 RFU Championship campaign.
Leeds’ new campaign kick-offs this Friday when the Yorkshire outfit face Nottingham at Meadow Lane and as newly appointed captain Jacob Rowan emphasised, a good start is crucial.
“I think the huge emphasis for us is to start well,” he said. “We slipped up last year, but we are looking to improve on that and hopefully we’ll start the season with a bang.”
“It’s important to win our home games for the fans and also for ourselves, we need to make Headingley a bit of a fortress. Winning away is hard; there are some tough pitches and tough environments in the Championship, but every win helps to push for that promotion.
The club’s pre-season friendlies have given Rowan – who was named Leeds’ youngest ever captain at the age of 22 – and the team a great deal of encouragement, but with the introduction of Jersey and Newcastle Falcons, the competition is tighter than ever before.
The former England Under 20 starlet added: “Newcastle are a very strong side; they're a large squad and they’ve got a lot of talent, but you just have to look at last year with Bristol getting beaten, so chances are that anything could happen.
“That top four will be a lot harder this year, but we’re looking forward to it, we’re up for a challenge.”