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Back plays down Newcastle clash


Neil Back

Neil Back

Neil Back

Neil Back insists Leeds' relegation showdown with Newcastle is not yet a do-or-die encounter.

But Back does admit Sunday's Aviva Premiership clash at Headingley will have a significant bearing on who stays in the league. Leeds are bottom of the table with just one league win all season and nine points, three behind Newcastle.

"There is no getting away from the fact that this is a massive game for both clubs because of where we find ourselves in the Aviva Premiership table," said Back, who was recently installed as boss at Leeds after Andy Key's departure. "Neither side's fate will be decided by the end of the weekend. It will mean we have one less game to pick up points to start moving up the table, and that is significant at this time of the year."

He added: "We have approached the game as we do all our games and we know that the only way we can have an impact on the result is by producing our best performance, and that is what our aim will be."

Newcastle's head coach Alan Tait has adopted the same theme, perhaps in an attempt to ensure his men are not frozen by the pressure of the occasion.

"It's all there to play for on Sunday and it's not the end of the world whatever happens with the result as there's still plenty of rugby left," said Tait.

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