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Leeds Carnegie move was timely - Rob Baldwin
Leeds Carnegie have signed Wharfedale captain and No 8 Rob Baldwin for the rest of the season.
The 27-year-old joined up with his new team-mates this week ahead of the visit of Bristol to Headingley this Sunday in the Championship.
Baldwin, who has also skippered England Counties, said: “I am really pleased to have the chance to play in the Championship with Leeds Carnegie.
“I would not have left Wharfedale for any other club, but the chance to train full-time and play at a higher level was a great opportunity and one that I did not want to look back on and say ‘what if?’.
“I have had other chances down the years but things have not worked out for me workwise.
“I am the production director for my family business, Byworth Boilers, so I didn’t want to be too far from home.
"Coming to Leeds Carnegie is perfect for me. I have worked with Leeds forwards coach Dave Baldwin before with England Counties and I am looking forward to working with him again.
“He initiated the move to Leeds Carnegie, so I have a lot to be thankful to him for.
“There is a lot of competition in the back row at Leeds so I know I will have a big job on my hands but I am looking forward to that and hopefully can prove my worth.”
Leeds Carnegie’s director of rugby Chris Gibson said: “Rob is a great addition to our squad and someone who has a wealth of experience from his time at Wharfedale and Otley.
“He has fitted in extremely well with the squad already and will give us another option in our back row with his style of play.”
After an absence of three seasons in the Championship, Esher arrive at Wharfedale in SSE National League One on Saturday under their new management team of Ollie Smith (Harlequins and England) and Kris Chesney (Saracens and Toulon).
Fancied as one of the sides likely to be challenging for promotion, Esher would have been disappointed to lose their first match at Fylde but since then they have recorded two bonus-point wins, at home to Blackheath and last week at newcomers Loughborough.
Wharfedale’s management are upbeat after last week’s losing bonus point at Blackheath.
It has been the hardest of starts to the season and the six points in the bank are more that some may have feared when the fixtures were published.
Wharfedale opt to keep the basis of last week’s side with minimal changes.
It has been the hardest of starts to the season for the Dalesmen, and the six points in the bank are more that some feared.
Hooker Ian Larkin makes his first start of the season as Steve Graham drops to the bench.
England Sevens squad member Aaron Myers is given the job of replacing Baldwin in the back row, where he joins James Tyson and Alastair Allen.
Tom Davidson is among the replacements after completing his cricket commitments with Settle.
Wharfedale (home to Esher): C Georgiou; N Taylor, Joe Donkin, A Hodgson, S Horsfall; L Gray, J Gough; C Steel, I Larkin, A Howard; R Brown, R Rhodes; A Allen, J Tyson, A Myers. Replacements: S Graham, M Tampin, C Howick, W Bell, T Davidson