Neil Back to take over as coach at lowly Rugby Lions

Neil Back
Back first joined Leeds Carnegie as head coach in June 2008

Neil Back has accepted a five-year deal to become head coach at National League 3 Midlands outfit Rugby - less than two months after resigning from Leeds.

Back, 42, has opted to move four tiers back down rugby's pyramid after failing to keep Leeds in the top flight.

But, bankrolled by businessman Michael Aland, Back's brief is to now turn Rugby Lions into a Premiership outfit.

"I received an approach from Michael in May, less than an hour after my resignation from Leeds," said Back.

"He sold me his vision of taking this club to the top flight of English rugby, while doing something really meaningful for the town."

Warwickshire-born World Cup winner Back has taken a significant step down in opting to join lowly Rugby - 10 miles down the road from his home town of Coventry.

But the 66-times capped former England international flanker insists that his decision is not based on money.

"This is an incredible challenge and one which, after a great deal of thought, I felt I could not turn down.

"It's a big call for me having coached in the Premiership and I have asked myself whether it's a retrograde step given how ambitious I am.

"But it's not about money. Nor is this an easy option by any stretch of the imagination, which is why I asked for a five-year contract.

"I believe that turning around Rugby and getting the club to the Premiership would be a significant achievement and one I can use as a stepping stone to coaching at the very highest level."

Former player Aland plans not only to propel Rugby into the Premiership, but hopes to build a new 30,000 capacity stadium, complete with retractable roof.

"This is very much about giving the town of Rugby something of which it can be proud," he said.

The town gave its name to the sport as a result of famed former Rugby School pupil William Webb-Ellis's immortalised 'invention' of the game in the 1820s.