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Rugby News

Joe Ford back in Leeds in dual role

Joe Ford has been announced as player-head coach at Yorkshire Carnegie after leaving Leicester Tigers.

The 29-year-old fly-half will begin a fourth spell at the Headingley club after 116 points in 23 appearances for Tigers over the last two seasons.

Ford originally came through the academy ranks at Carnegie, making his senior debut in 2009 opposite his younger brother George when Leeds hosted Leicester.

He moved to Sale Sharks before returning for a second spell in 2011 and enjoyed a third period there after returning from Northampton Saints. In total, Ford has made 85 appearances for Yorkshire Carnegie, scoring 674 points.

Looking forward to his new challenge, Ford said: “It is great to be back. I know we are in a tough position but, having spoken with managing director Chris Gibson and director of rugby Martyn Wood, I was impressed with their plans for the club for this season and beyond.

"Importantly for me, the move gives me the chance to begin my coaching career, which I am excited about.

"The chance to play part-time whilst still at a high level of rugby is very attractive and I am sure there will be other players, either who want the opportunity to test themselves at a higher level or those who are looking at life after rugby from the Premiership, who will relish the opportunity we are able to offer at Yorkshire Carnegie.”

Director of rugby Wood added: “I am delighted to have Joe back on board at the club. He is hungry as a young coach and I am sure he will have a positive impact on our squad, especially the younger players.”

Other players who have recently announced new clubs after leaving Tigers at the end of the 1018/19 season include Brendon O’Connor (Hawke’s Bay), Leo Sarto (Benetton Rugby) and Fred Tuilagi (Colorno), while Sam Grahamslaw now has a place at the Scottish RU academy.