Leeds have been handed a well needed boost in the midst of their play off campaign. With two of their hottest prospects signing up to new contracts tying them to the Yorkshire club for the next few seasons.
Leeds have aimed to rebuild basing on a youthful policy, aiming to follow Exeter’s example following their promotion two years ago. And two of their top young players have now committed to remaining a part of the project for the short term. England U20 captain, Chris Walker and his younger brother England U16 hooker, Jack have both signed new contracts keeping them at Headingly for two and four years respectively.
Chris has been a key player in Leeds’ campaign so far this season and is likely to remain so throughout their play off campaign and has also played a significant role in England U20 Six Nations campaign. He has captained England at U18 and U20 levels and made his debut for Leeds in last season’s LV Cup campaign in the game at Llanelli.
Jack was a part of England’s U16 side this season, but has since gone on to be called up to represent his country at U17 and U18 level in trial matches against the Northampton U19s.
Leeds Head Coach, Diccon Edwards has described the signing of the two as “fantastic news for Leeds Carnegie”. He described them in flattering terms “Chris has proven this year that he can perform at the highest level with Leeds and England whilst Jack is regarded as the best young player in his age group.
Leeds look set to miss out on promotion this year, but their focus is very much more long term than that. They are building a team they hope will survive in the Premiership on their return rather than continue their yoyo pattern of recent years which has seen them last just one season on each promotion from National League One and then the Championship.