Timely boost for Leeds as five sign new deals

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Leeds Carnegie have been handed a major boost ahead of Sunday’s Championship derby with Rotherham Titans at Headingley with news five players have agreed new contracts for 2012-13.

Hooker Phil Nilsen, who is the club’s longest-serving player, fellow Academy graduate and full-back Christian Georgiou plus French prop Damien Tussac, have all signed two-year deals.

Scrum-half Craig Hampson has earned himself a new one-year contract with a string of fine performances since the turn of the year, while hooker Joe Graham has made a permanent move to Leeds on a 12-month contract having spent this season on loan from Newcastle Falcons.

England Under-20s lock Dominic Barrow has been offered a new, improved contract but he has informed Carnegie he wants to speak to other clubs.

Leeds would be entitled to compensation if he left this summer.

Director of rugby Chris Gibson said: “We always stated that our aim was to try and build some momentum within this group of young players for the years ahead.

“Hopefully, we can achieve that by keeping this group together.”

Leeds are seeking a win at the weekend to stay on course for a top-four play-offs place.