Leeds must step up : Lancaster

Leeds Carnegie Director Rugby Stuart Lancaster takes a look ahead to Leeds Carnegie’s clash with Sale Sharks this Sunday at Headingley Carnegie, kick off 3pm.



Having had a chance to reflect on last week’s performance against Bath, my thoughts remain very similar to those I expressed immediately after the game. There is no doubt we have made significant improvements but, as we know, to compete at the top end of the Guinness Premiership we need to be executing at the level Bath did against us to win games. I thought the effort and attitude from our players was outstanding and on that particular day Bath proved to be a quality side as their league position testifies.

However, we are not down hearted, far from it, we firmly believe in our ability to compete at this level but recognise it will not come easy. The players and coaching staff are committed to the team, the shirt and the club and we will be doing everything within our power to achieve positive results this Sunday against Sale.


The game bring us back home to Headingley Carnegie for what promises to be a great occasion. Looking at the calibre of players that Sale possess, the opportunity for our players to test themselves against their opposite number in the Sharks side is one that we are all looking forward to and we hope to reward our loyal fans with a positive performance and a win to take us into the New Year.

Sale, post World Cup, obviously have a strong squad and with the arrival of Luke McAlister bringing another dimension to their attacking play. As they are our neighbours, I am sure there will be plenty of local rivalry on display and a Roses battle between cross-Pennine rivals will no doubt produce a passionate affair and one which we hope the fans enjoy.


We will be making some changes this week, whilst we were pleased with the effort and attitude shown by the players last week, we need to develop our game so that we put in the complete performance in all areas, set piece attack and defence and we have selected the side accordingly. We also want to have the most suitable bench who can come on and make an impact on the game. The bench players can make a huge difference to the energy levels of a side and our selection in this area reflects that, yet having the confidence that we done enough work in training to have the flexibility with our squad to cover all eventualities.


Adam Balding is set to make his first start for Leeds Carnegie after being named at number eight for this Sunday’s clash with Sale Sharks at Headingley Carnegie, kick off 3pm.

Balding made his debut for Leeds as a second half replacement in last Saturday’s defeat at Bath. The former Leicester star is on three month loan from Gloucester and his arrival in the back row means Rhys Oakley reverts to open side flanker.

Second row Erik Lund will return to the side in place of Pablo Bouza after missing last weeks game through illness.

There is just one change in the back line where James Brooks will start at fly half in place of Alberto Di Bernardo.

The team in full is:

15. Leigh Hinton
14. Apo Satala
13. Lee Blackett
12. Rob Vickerman
11. Tom Biggs
10. James Brooks
9. Joe Bedford

1. Mike MacDonald
2. Vili Ma’asi
3. Tommy McGee
4. Stuart Hooper (c)
5. Erik Lund
6. Jon Dunbar
7. Rhys Oakley
8. Adam Balding

16. Michael Cusack
17. James Parkes
18. Adam Hopcroft
19. Calum Clark
20. Darren Edwards
21. Andy Tuilagi
22. Jonny Hepworth




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