On 9th July 2014 following support from the Yorkshire RFU and approval from the RFU, Sir Ian McGeechan revealed plans to create Yorkshire Carnegie from the start point of Leeds Carnegie and put in place the foundations to create a sustainable and successful club for the county at the elite level of the game.
Commenting on the launch, Sir Ian McGeechan said, “This has been a long process with a great deal of consultation with all interested parties. I would like to particularly thank the Yorkshire RFU committee and the RFU for their support and guidance during this process. The team will have Yorkshire at the heart of its identity and I believe that this very special brand can help us achieve something that cannot be delivered elsewhere in England.
“Our vision remains to produce and sustain a Premiership team in Yorkshire, based on Yorkshire talent with Yorkshire support,” added McGeechan. Yorkshire has long been associated with the success at the elite level of the game of Rugby Union. one in seven of all English born, full internationals for England were born in Yorkshire including current stars Rob Webber, Luther Burrell and Danny Care.
Leeds RUFC was founded in 1991 after the merger of Roundhay and Headingley. They were renamed Leeds Tykes in 1998, then became Leeds Carnegie in 2007 and in 2014 launched as Yorkshire Carnegie.
Leeds RUFC became Leeds Tykes after the club was bought by Paul Caddick and became part of Leeds Rugby Limited, the world’s first dual code rugby partnership which saw one company controlling and running professional teams in Rugby League (Leeds Rhinos) and Rugby Union (Leeds Tykes).
Following the Championship winning campaign of 2006-07, it was announced that Leeds Beckett University had entered into a joint venture with the club and taken a majority stake in Leeds Tykes, with the club renamed Leeds Carnegie for their return to the Premiership Rugby competition. The change of ownership was seen as a ground breaking arrangement in British sport with an educational institution taking over ownership of a professional sporting organisation.
In May 2009 it was announced that, following promotion back to the Premiership Rugby competition that the club was re-structuring with Leeds Rugby taking control of the club once again.
In order to attract further financial support for the club, Leeds Beckett returned its 51% stake in the club to Leeds Rugby and agreed a revised strategic partnership arrangement, which included sponsorship.
The name Carnegie comes from the Scottish entrepreneur and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie whose Carnegie Trust funded the establishment of a PE teaching training college in 1930s. Carnegie College is now the Carnegie Faculty of Sport and Education within Leeds Metropolitan University.