To celebrate St Andrews Day, we have taken a look back at the Scottish connection with the club down the years that has seen 16 Scottish internationals play for the club right up to Michael Cusack in the current squad.
Scottish rugby obviously has a huge influence on the current Yorkshire Carnegie side with Bryan Redpath as Head Coach and Sir Ian McGeechan leading the club as Executive President. As well as Cusack, who made his international debut in the lead up to the 2015 World Cup on residency grounds, we also have Hawick-born hooker Ross Graham in the current squad, who has played at Under 20 level for Scotland.
Whilst Ian McGeechan and Chris Rea were famous Scottish internationals from the Headingley FC history, the first Scottish international to play for the newly merged club was number eight Stuart Reid. A powerful figure, the policeman joined the club and was reunited with his former Scottish junior international team mate Stuart Lancaster, in 1998.
The next Scottish international was winger Tony Stanger, forever remembered for his Grand Slam winning try against England in 1990, who moved to Leeds in October 2000 in the final year of his playing career.
Our most capped international player of all time was little known when he first arrived at Headingley Carnegie from Caldy. Prop Gavin Kerr joined in the second half of the promotion winning campaign of 2001 and became a mainstay of the side for the next five years. He amassed fifty caps for Scotland.
Kerr was part of tartan army at the club at the time when Phil Davies was Director of Rugby. With Leeds in the Premiership, and the close to the border, the club became an option for players to show the Scottish management they were worthy of selection and not be far from home. Back rower Carl Hogg captained the club in our first season in the Premiership whilst Cameron Mather was a huge factor in ensuring we became an established force in the elite league the following year with a Heineken Cup qualification.
Centre Jamie Mayer was an exciting figure but unfortunately injuries meant we never saw the best of him whilst second rower Stewart Campbell joined from Italian rugby and was a regular in the squad.
Campbell made his debut on the same day as fly half Gordon Ross. Ross will forever have a place in the club’s history books as key man during a golden period for the club when we became an established part of the Premiership, culminating in the Powergen Cup win at Twickenham in 2005.
Ross was in competition for the ten shirt with an old rival for the Scottish fly half spot at the time, Duncan Hodge, with the latter now forging a career as a talented coach north of the border.
Jon Dunbar joined Leeds from Newcastle and earned a call up to Scotland whilst in 2005, the capture of the Scottish captain Gordon Bulloch was a major coup. The hooker joined after touring with the British & Irish Lions to New Zealand but unfortunately for all parties he did not enjoy his best rugby at Headingley Carnegie.
That season number eight Roland Reid and centre Andy Craig also joined the club. The last Scottish international to play for the club, prior to the return of Cusack this summer, was second row Tom Ryder, who retired last year to begin a career as as teacher.