Back under pressure as Leeds look up at new boys

Neil Back accepts his Leeds Carnegie team face a "sizeable challenge" today in their quest to start climbing away from Premiership relegation danger.

Leeds visit the Premiership newcomers Exeter, who are already 12 points above their hosts almost a third of the way through the league campaign. While Exeter have accounted for Gloucester, Newcastle and Saracens since arriving in English rugby's top flight, Leeds can reflect on collecting just two losing bonus points from seven games.

They are in grave danger of being cut adrift at the Premiership basement, but head coach Back remains upbeat. "Unlike most teams in the Premiership we have obviously played at Sandy Park, so it will not come as a shock to our guys," the former England flanker said. "We have to make sure that we arrive there with the right mentality and ready to take them on. It is a sizeable challenge, but we will be going there aiming to get our first win of the Premiership season.

"I think Exeter have done an outstanding job so far this season, but that has not surprised me. They obviously concentrate on getting the basics right, which is key to any successful team, and they have shown that they deserve their place in the Premiership."

The Exeter head coach, Rob Baxter, will face Leeds for the 14th time as a player and coach, and as with so many of those previous encounters, he knows there is a lot at stake. "Our paths have crossed regularly over the years, and we know it is going to be a tough game," said Baxter. "We know Leeds are targeting this game almost as a must-win for them. For us, it's about hitting the pitch in the right physical condition, but also getting the mentality of how we want to play right.

"We've got to go out there and play like it's a do-or-die, must-win game for us. If we get that mentality right, everything else will look after itself."

London Irish, unbeaten in the league since September, resume action away to Wasps tomorrow following two LV Cup defeats. But the Exiles' head coach, Toby Booth, said: "There has been a different buzz in training this week. We are refreshed and excited to be getting back to the Premiership."

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence