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Leeds Rugby

Leeds Rugby

Since 2004

Our University formed a pioneering partnership with Leeds Rugby in 2004: the first of its kind to bring together a professional club, regional academy programme and a higher education establishment.

Our partnership provides a chance for everyone at Leeds Beckett to get involved. It creates a lasting legacy and an opportunity for students, alumni, staff and partners to collaborate, which generates ambition and pride across our University.

Leeds Rhinos and Yorkshire Carnegie are the makeup of Leeds Rugby. Leeds Rhinos play their rugby league in the Northern Hemisphere’s top competition, Super League. The Rhinos have been very successful over the last five years, winning the Super League trophy three times. The Rhinos generate an attendance of over 15,000 fans on a regular basis, which is great for the local Leeds economy. Having left rugby union’s top flight in 2011, Yorkshire Carnegie (formerly Leeds Carnegie, Leeds Tykes and Leeds RUFC) play in the RFU Championship. Yorkshire Carnegie are an ambitious club and hope to make it back into the premiership in 2017. 

Research and Development

 Our research programme has created many opportunities for students at all levels to gain research and development experience in an elite sporting environment. So far, our research has resulted in 14 publications in peer-reviewed journals and 11 abstracts accepted for presentation and publication at the BASES 2015 conference. 

University and Stadium Facilities

Through our partnership, Leeds Beckett has its own bespoke teaching spaces at Headingley Carnegie Stadium with year-round access to sports pitches at Abbey Fields and Kirkstall, and the Lewis Jones and Hirst and Rhodes conference suites.


The Leeds rugby union Varsity game takes place annually in October at Headingley Carnegie Stadium.

Our students participating in the game experience all that a match day at Headingley Carnegie Stadium has to offer, playing at an international stadium in front of a crowd of 14,000. 

Placements, Internships, Volunteers and Employment

 Since 2004, more than 300 students a year have benefited from our partnership with Leeds Rugby through work placements, internships, volunteering and paid employment opportunities, providing memorable experiences in a professional sporting environment.

Supported by the partnership, our University provides 82% (220) of the casual members of staff for the Stadium.


Our University has a successful track record in the field of rugby, with a string of titles and a prestigious list of alumni who are competing at some of the highest levels in the sport.

  • Stuart Lancaster
  • Barrie McDermott
  • Kevin Sinfield MBE
  • Jamie Peacock MBE
  • Jamie Jones-Buchanan
  • Matt Diskin
  • Willie Poching
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