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Leeds Beckett University to join forces with Leeds Rhinos

Rugby League players at Leeds Beckett University now have a direct pathway to play in Super League thanks to a ground-breaking partnership.

Leeds Beckett University coach Paul Fletcher shaking hands with Leeds Rhinos Director of Rugby Kevin Sinfield to celebrate the new partnership

The university has teamed up with Leeds Rhinos to give students the opportunity to try out for the Super League club’s reserve team.

The partnership is the first in the country to provide students a direct pathway to Super League and follow in the footsteps of LBU graduates, and Super League Grand Final winners, Alex Walmsley and Jimmy Keinhorst.

LBU Rugby League head coach Paul Fletcher believes the pathway will also attract more players to the university.

He said: “The partnership will allow players the chance to represent the university and work towards playing in Super League, following in the footsteps of our graduates who have gone on to play at the pinnacle of Rugby League.

“The opportunity is now there for students to play for one of the best Rugby League clubs in the world and we will be working with the Rhinos to provide the best pathway possible for our students.”

The reserve team - coached by former Leeds Rhinos star Rob Burrow - will compete for the first time in 2020.

It comes after the second-grade initiative was approved by both the Rugby Football League and Super League.

Leeds Rhinos Director of Rugby Kevin Sinfield, himself a Leeds Beckett alumni, commented, “Student Rugby League is a massive growth area for the sport. This partnership shows how players, particularly those who have developed late in the game, can still have a pathway to professional Rugby League.”

The Leeds Rhinos Reserve team kicks off their new season on Sunday 9th February at Wakefield Trinity.

Leeds Beckett University works with a range of professional sports clubs, including Leeds Rhinos, through Carnegie School of Sport which will be opening a new state of the art learning centre later this year.

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