Relegated Leeds hold a player clear out

Leeds Carnegie have announced that Leigh Hinton and Jonny Hepworth have agreed new contracts with the club.

The club have also confirmed that several senior players and players that have come through the Academy system will be leaving the club at the end of the current campaign.

Hinton (pictured) , 29, has featured in every game in the Guinness Premiership this season for the club and was the top points scorer in National Division One last season. He has agreed a new one year deal with the club.

Hepworth, 25, returned to Headingley Carnegie last season having originally come through the Academy structure at sister club Leeds Rhinos. Hepworth has missed the last four games with a knee injury but is set to return in the penultimate game of the season at London Irish. He has agreed a new two year deal.

Commenting on the new deals Director of Rugby Stuart Lancaster said, “I am delighted that Leigh and Jonny have agreed new contracts with the club and we are in the process of renewing all the contracts of players we wish to retain for next season. Both Leigh and Jonny were important players for us last season and they will be stronger from the experience of having performed at the highest level in the Guinness Premiership this season.”

Leeds Carnegie have confirmed that Mark Lock (28), Darren Edwards (34), Colin Noon (32), Pablo Bouza (34), Martin Schusterman (32), John Holtby (26), Mike Aspinall (25), Tom Rock (23), James Parkes (27), Andy Rock (22), Richard Vasey (23), Tom Whittaker (21), Max Lewis (22) and Michael Cusack (23) will be leaving the club at the end of the season.

Commenting on the releases, Lancaster added, “It is obviously an aspect of professional sport that people will move on from time to time. All of these players have given outstanding service to the club. The majority of them have been with us for the past two years and joined the club at a difficult time in our history.

Their dedication and commitment to the club went a long way to rebuilding the team and we will always be grateful for that. In the case of the younger players, they have an opportunity move to a new environment and challenge themselves.

“It has always been the aim of the Academy system that we keep players in Yorkshire and in the case of these younger players there are some quality players who will no doubt go on to become 1st team players in their own right in many of the clubs that have supported their development over the last few years.

“We will certainly keep an eye on them to see how they get on as we know they are quality individuals.

“This gives us the opportunity to free up places for a new players coming through the Academy in addition to bringing some new players into the squad.”   

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