Leeds embark upon Yorkshire adventure

Leeds Carnegie commence their odyssey around Yorkshire tomorrow when they host Jersey at York’s Clifton Park.

The British and Irish Cup fixture is one of three ‘home’ games that they will be staging away from their traditional base of Headingley Carnegie as they look to broaden their horizons.

Games at Wharfedale’s Wharfeside Avenue next month and at Brantingham Park in Hull in March are also sheduled.

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For one summer recruit, Oli Goss, the game will mark a unique home debut after being forced to miss much of the start of the season through injury.

But the former Doncaster player believes that once the formalities are out of the way, the novelty will soon wear off.

“I am excited about Sunday, taking games on the road is a nice thing and it gives a little bit of exposure around the county,” said the exciting centre.

“Guys like a change of environment and scenery. But at the end of the day, it’s just a big rectangle of grass, the same as anywhere.

“I’ve played at Headingley against Leeds before, but never for Leeds.”

Goss is just relieved to be playing after so far being unable to prove to the Leeds fanbase why Diccon Edwards decided to sign him in the first place.

“It has been a frustrating time with injuries for me,” said Goss.

“I had surgery at the end of last season to correct a groin problem.

“I then jumped straight into a new season with a new squad and then by the time I was near enough fit, I injured my ankle.

“It was a slow start as I was in a cast and then one of those air-boots.

“But I’m back now and it was nice to get in full training with the squad.

“I know how the players play, I’ve been watching them on the touchline for ten to 12 weeks now and I can’t wait to get on the field now.

“Your identity is based around how you play when you are a rugby player and I’ve not been able to do that yet and show people what I can do. Team meetings are a difficult place when I’ve got my point of view to get across when I have not got anything to back it up.

“Time on the field is important and will give me that bit of confidence again. I just want to show my wares to people who have put quite a lot of faith in me. I’ve been extremely well looked after and it’s about repaying all of that and putting in a few performances in.”

Hooker Harry Hannan has been ruled out with a thigh injury so Phil Nilsen will start and Joe Graham is named on the bench.

Joe Ford is also unavailable for the visit of Jersey with a tight hamstring meaning Joe Barker will start at fly-half and Fred Burdon comes back into the starting line up to play alongside Goss in the centres.