England Rugby Union World Cup winner Neil Back is backing Leeds Rhinos to retain the Carnegie World Club Challenge this Sunday when they take on Australian Champions Manly Sea Eagles at Elland Road.
Back, who this season took up the reigns as Head Coach of the Rhinos sister Rugby Union club Leeds Carnegie, will be at Elland Road along with the rest of his squad to support their stable mates and believes the Rhinos can become World Champions once again.
Back was part of the England team who famously beat Australia in Sydney in 2003 to win the World Cup and he is excited about watching the two best Rugby League sides in the world go head to head this Sunday. He commented, "Since moving up to Leeds in the summer I have loved going to watch the Rhinos play on a Friday at Headingley Carnegie. There is a great buzz about the training ground at the moment with both teams being unbeaten in their respective seasons. I am really pleased to be going to the game and wish Brian McClennan and the team all the best.
"Being back to back league champions shows how strong the Rhinos are but I know that the Australian NRL competition is very tough and Manly will be a huge challenge for Leeds. Australians, regardless of which code of rugby it is, are always good athletes and are always determined to win.
"I had the privilege of captaining England when we beat Australia at Twickenham to win the Cook Cup and then obviously it was special to beat them in their own backyard in 2003. Australian sportsman have a certain arrogance about them and I know from my playing days, that always made it good to beat them. Hopefully, the Rhinos will have that feeling too come Sunday night," added Back.
The Rhinos have also received best wishes from the England Rugby Union camp this week as they prepare for their clash with Ireland in the RBS Six Nations. Scrum half Danny Care, who came through the Rugby Union academy ranks at Leeds, and was born in the City has said he will be cheering the Super League champions on come Sunday night. He told skysports.com, "I always played football when I was younger and then union just came in and when I went to high school it was a rugby union playing team. I never got the chance to play league but I used to be a massive fan of the Rhinos and I still look out for them. I'll definitely be watching on Sunday and cheer for the boys. It'll be nice to have a chilled out day watching the Rhinos win after we've beaten Ireland in Croke Park."
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