Leeds Carnegie excited about Balding

Leeds Carnegie have confirmed the signing of 27-year-old back row Adam Balding from Gloucester Rugby for an initial three month loan.

England A international Balding will join Leeds Carnegie with immediate effect but is Cup tied and so will be ineligible to play in either the EDF Energy Cup game at Bristol this Sunday or the subsequent European Challenge Cup ties against Calvisano.

 

However, he will play in the Guinness A League for Leeds Carnegie, making his debut against one of his former club’s Leicester next Monday, to push himself for selection for Leeds’ next Guinness Premiership game at Bath on Saturday 22nd December.

Commenting on the signing Director of Rugby Stuart Lancaster said, “I would like to thank Gloucester and in particular Dean Ryan for allowing Adam to join us on loan.

 

He is a quality signing for us and will add real depth to our back row during his spell at Headingley Carnegie. He is vastly experienced, has good leadership qualities and is a strong ball carrier.

“We are without Mark Lock until the New Year and we have missed Jon Dunbar and Hendre Fourie in the first quarter of the season through injury.

 

Whilst Adam will be unavailable for our Cup games, he will play in the Guinness A League so we can bed him in with our style of play and patterns and he will certainly be an asset for selection for our games over Christmas,” added Lancaster.

Balding made 66 appearances for Leicester after coming through the ranks at Welford Road and is a former winner of the Tigers’ Young Player of the Year award. He has represented England at all levels through to England A and has also played for England at Sevens.

 

He signed for Gloucester in 2004 and ended the 2004-05 season as their captain. However, he has been unfortunate in recent seasons with injuries that have prevented him from cementing a place in the Gloucester team. He suffered his last injury in January against Sale at Kingsholm when he tore his Achilles but he has since returned to full fitness.

Balding, who is in the final year of his contract at Gloucester, commented, “I am really pleased that Gloucester have been able to give me the opportunity to go out on loan and get some game time. The injury is completely healed now and on a personal level, I am really excited about the move.

“Hopefully I can bring my experience to the team. The length of the loan isn’t something that concerns me. I will go out there and play every game like it is my last so it is irrelevant to how I want to perform.

 

Leeds’ league position did not concern me either. There are 15 Guinness Premiership games left this season and already I have seen that Leeds have put a good squad together here who are improving every week. If I can help out in that process, then that is what I here to do.

“A lot of things can happen during a three month loan so I will be just taking it one game at a time and hopefully impressing the Leeds coaching staff. My contract is up at the end of the season with Gloucester and I need to be playing rugby at this stage of the year and, thanks to Leeds and Gloucester, I have an opportunity to perform. We will see what happens after that.

“The Leeds Carnegie squad seem like a top bunch of lads and I have played alongside James Parkes and Jon Goodridge at Gloucester and know Jon Dunbar and Mark Lock well from playing against them down the years. I am really looking forward to the next three months with Leeds Carnegie,” added Coventry-born Balding.


 

Rugbyweek.com

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