Play-offs will not daunt Leeds says McGeechan

Sir Ian McGeechan.
Sir Ian McGeechan.
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As someone so ingrained in British Lions legend, Sir Ian McGeechan knows all about peaking at the right time.

It is, then, reassuring to know the Leeds Carnegie chairman feels his club are perfectly placed to step up their own bid for promotion from the Championship.

With three regular games remaining, they will have already cemented their place in the play-offs if they can beat Plymouth Albion at Headingley Carnegie tomorrow or London Scottish fail to take five points at Bedford.

Leeds have won seven of their last eight games in all competitions and have reached the British & Irish Cup semi-finals, ironically having defeated Plymouth 41-21 on home soil only last week.

“I think our rugby has been good and we have been playing not just attractive rugby but effective rugby,” said McGeechan. “We need to keep the momentum going now and the experience from last year’s play-offs means we are in good shape to make the most of it.”

Leeds are set to play either London Welsh or Bristol in the two-legged play-off semi finals.

“All the games this year against the other three teams in the top four have been close matches,” said McGeechan.

“Whilst we have not beaten London Welsh in either meeting, we’ve dominated those games for long periods on both occasions.

“We have beaten Bristol and knowing the rugby that all three teams are playing, I think we can take confidence into the play-offs that we will give really strong performances against whoever we have to play.

“It’s home and away and we know we’ve to be good over two legs but if we can do that the Premiership’s there for us.”

James Lowes makes seven changes to the side that beat Plymouth in cup action.

Centre Fred Burdon returns and winger Christian Georgiou and No 10 Glyn Hughes are promoted from the replacements. James Currie starts in place of tighthead Paul Hill, second-row Mike Myerscough comes in for Harry Casson, captain Jacob Rowan returns at blindside, No 8 Ryan Burrows is back after a two- match absence and fit-again lock Calum Green – who joins Newcastle in 2014-15 – is set for his first game since Christmas off the bench.