Carnegie School of Sport partnership

Leeds Rhinos Rugby League

Leeds Beckett’s partnership with rugby league club, Leeds Rhinos, has spanned more than a decade, with the University’s Carnegie School of Sport (CSS) working with the club on various projects throughout that time. 

Leeds Rhinos Rugby League

The university works with coaches and players in the first team, academy, and women’s team to undertake research in sports performance, training and match demands, performance analysis and nutrition. Data is collected and analysed on an ongoing basis, so findings can be implemented in real-time.  

Impact of our partnership

  1. Sports performance support

    The university works with coaches and players in the first team, academy, and women’s team to undertake research in sports performance, training and match demands, performance analysis and nutrition. Data is collected and analysed on an ongoing basis, so findings can be implemented in real-time.  
  2. Research opportunities

    The CSS also undertakes research and consultancy projects for the club, with the aim of developing a system to monitor player wellbeing and performance. Everything from player recovery and fatigue to physical performance measures and individual goals will be analysed, creating a database of real-time information for the men’s senior, academy and women’s teams.

  3. Research with impact

    As well as access to the CSS’s expert staff, and the School’s world-class facilities, Leeds Rhinos also benefits from the new researching being undertaken by the university’s PhD students who regularly work with the club. The first Leeds Beckett PhD students joined Leeds Rhinos in early 2014 and since then, a further 14 PhD students have undertaken research projects with them. 

    This research and the work the CSS has been doing with the club over the past decade, both on and off the pitch, not only benefits Leeds Rhinos, but also increases our understanding of rugby league, which improves coaching practices, players performance and player welfare. It also has applications across the wider sporting community. 

  4. Student experience

    As well as the opportunity to undertake further research with Leeds Rhinos, CSS students also benefit from the chance to secure professional work placements within Leeds Rhinos, giving them hands on experience in elite sport which will enhance their employability post-graduation.

  5. Alumni excellence

    There is a strong legacy of Leeds Beckett alumni at the club including Director of Rugby, Kevin Sinfield MBE, Leeds Rhinos’ most successful captain and one of the sports’ biggest icons. As well as completing a BSc and an MA at the university, all alongside his professional rugby career, Kevin was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Sport Science in 2019 in recognition of his achievements in rugby league.

    Other Leeds Rhinos stars who graduated from Leeds Beckett during their playing careers include club legends Tom Briscoe, Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Jimmy Keinhorst and Jamie Peacock. Former England Rugby League international player and current Head Coach of Leeds Rhinos Women, Lois Forsell, and first team players Danika Priim and Sophie Robinson are also Leeds Beckett graduates.  

In conversation

Our research

Carnegie Applied Rugby Research centre

Bringing together researchers and practitioners within the sports of rugby with expertise in coaching, strength and conditioning, sport science and player development.

Image of a rugby match and the player with the ball is up in the air