Community spirit guiding Yorkshire Carnegie through turbulent times

Yorkshire's Joe Ford is hoping his side can make a difference on the pitch
Yorkshire's Joe Ford is hoping his side can make a difference on the pitch

Things have been coming from all angles at Yorkshire Carnegie this summer but new director of rugby Martyn Wood believes the local community is backing the club.

It’s been a tough few months since Carnegie ran into financial difficulties and lost an entire first team.

A potential penalty of 28 points is still looming, stemming from issues with those financial difficulties, but former scrum-half Wood has come in to take up the reins despite the struggles.

The 42-year-old needs to build an entire squad before the RFU Championship Cup begins on September 20, the domestic season three weeks later.

“We’re still trying to build a squad at the minute so pre-season hasn’t really started for us,” said Wood, speaking from the Greene King IPA Championship launch event at Twickenham Stadium ahead of the 2019/20 season.

“Every day we’re a bit more positive on building on the blocks we’ve already put in place, we’re looking forward to it.

“It’s tough at the moment but to be honest we’ve had a lot of support from people in Yorkshire.

“Obviously we’ve had some negative press and I understand it, I get it, but from my point of view there’s been a lot more positives to come out of this and I know there’s a lot of people in Yorkshire backing us.”

The former Hull Ionians coach has made a good start to building a squad, fly-half Joe Ford heading back to Carnegie for a fourth time from Gallagher Premiership side Leicester Tigers.

The older brother of England’s George Ford, Wood says the 29-year-old was attracted to the club by the opportunity to move into coaching as the team’s new Head Coach, while admitting it could be largely academy players alongside the fly-half in 2019-20.

He added: “I think Joe sees it as a way to get into coaching and when I spoke to him his attitude is just spot on for what we’re looking for.

“He’s got real passion and real drive, to get into coaching at Championship level is tough and he has a lot to offer as a player.

“There will be signings coming in, there will be a few this week.

“We’re trying to build from the top with people like Joe, and the bottom, giving opportunities to boys who maybe wouldn’t have got them in the past, they are the sort of boys we’ll be working with.”

The Greene King IPA Championship is the second tier of professional rugby in England. To keep up to date with the latest news and features follow @ChampRugby on Twitter