carnegieXchange: School of Sport

England Knights Step Up Preparations for World Cup 2022 at Leeds Beckett University

Leeds Beckett University hosted the England Knights squad at Carnegie School of Sport this week ahead of their next game and the upcoming Rugby World Cup in autumn 2022.

New Carnegie School of Sport Building

Leeds Beckett University hosted the England Knights squad at Carnegie School of Sport this week ahead of their next game and the upcoming Rugby World Cup in autumn 2022.

Thanks to a long-standing association between Rugby Football League and the university, players have had use of the state-of-the-art Carnegie School of Sport’s facilities. The squad undertook on-field activity and trained in the gym to ensure they are in the best possible shape for their game against Jamaica on Friday at Castleford.

The England Knights squad includes Leeds Beckett Undergraduate student Jack Broadbent, who plays for Leeds Rhinos. Playing for Jamaica is student and Huddersfield Giants player, Michael Lawrence. Alumni and former Leeds Beckett Rugby League players, Jy-Mel Coleman, James Woodburn-Hall and Keenan Tomlinson also feature in the Jamaica squad.

Image of England Rugby League training at the School of Sport building

England Knights using the Strength & Conditioning Suite at the Carnegie School of Sport

Paul Anderson, England Knights Head Coach, said:
“Our next game is at Castleford and we wanted to be based somewhere with good facilities nearby. The facilities here are world-class and it’s important that we expose the players to different environments, which is why we’re here.

“It’s about getting the players together and getting them socialising and getting to know people who play against most of them time, not with. We’ve done on-field activity and also used the gym facilities in Carnegie. 

“It’s a massive help being able to use these facilities. The university has spent millions on them, and we know how good they are and how accessible and useful they can be for us.”


Dave Rotheram, Head of Talent and Player Development, Rugby Football League, said:
“We’ve had a long association with Leeds Beckett at the Rugby Football League as the governing body, at many levels. Outside of the time we’re spending here with the Knights, we have our women’s programme here and our wheelchair programme. We’re trying to win three world cups in 2022. It’s a world-class event, and our chances are certainly enhanced by the world-class facilities that we see at Leeds Beckett.

“For me, the most productive part of the partnership is the expertise we can tap into. In terms of sport science and coaching support, which is an arrangement we’ve now had for a number of years, and that partnership led by Professor Ben Jones is certainly pushing the boundaries of what we’re doing within our rugby league programme, not only for the England team, but for the talent performance pathway as a whole. 

“I’ve been lucky in the various jobs I’ve had in my time in sport, I’ve been all over the world and seen top facilities, and this is world-class. That’s in terms of what’s available to us as a team out on the grass field, in the gymnasium and anything else if we really needed to.’’


Jack Broadbent, England Knights and Leeds Rhinos player, BA (hons) Sport Marketing student:
“The brand-new facilities are amazing. I’m currently studying Sport Marketing at the university, so I’m actually on this campus doing a course, which means I’m quite familiar with the surroundings. 

“The university have got a really good partnership with England RL, which has led to us being able to use the facilities. We’re here at this amazing new facility, which is pretty breathtaking, and to get to come in and see it and use the facilities, it just shows that you’re at the elite of the sport.

“I’m loving my course and all the staff here are really friendly. It can be a challenge to a be a full-time player and a student, but some of the other boys in the team are students at other universities, so we’re helping each other along the way.”

The facilities at Leeds Beckett University’s Headingley Campus are a base for the Carnegie School of Sport’s undergraduate, postgraduate and research programmes and provides a hub for the elite athletes who use the university’s sports performance expertise.


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