Davies agrees to sign new deal at Leeds

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The Independent Online

Leeds have agreed a new contract with director of rugby Phil Davies that will keep the former Wales international at Headingley until 2007.

Davies' six-year stint has seen the Tykes rise from National League Three to the Premiership, progress which has earned him a reputation as one of the domestic game's outstanding coaches.

Their first season in English rugby's top flight saw the Yorkshire club finish bottom of the pile and they only avoided relegation when National One winners Rotherham failed to meet Premiership entry criteria. However, last season saw a dramatic improvement as Davies guided his side to fifth in the league and a Heineken Cup place.

The out-of-contract first team coach Jon Callard has also extended his stay at Headingley, settling a new two-year deal.

The Leeds chief executive Gary Hetherington said: "We have recognised the tremendous impact our entire coaching team have had on our success and we are delighted that Phil and Jon have agreed to their new deals. We have also signed new contracts with Steve Carter and Simon Middleton to complete our coaching team."

Davies said: "Our achievements last year were a tremendous credit to the team and the players' efforts. In our recruitment policy this summer we have tried to bring in young, exciting players who will give us longevity. I want to continue and build on the success we have already gained."

Bath's busy summer in the transfer market continued today with the signing of former Australia Under-21 back-rower Scott Gray in a one-year deal.

Gray arrives at the Recreation Ground after a year-long spell with the Australian rugby league side the Brisbane Broncos, but his roots are in union and his CV includes a stint with the ACT Brumbies. The 25-year-old will strengthen Bath's back row which has been hit by injuries to Gareth Delve and Adam Vander, but he can also operate at lock where he might be needed to cover for Steve Borthwick and Danny Grewcock should they make England's World Cup squad.