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Premiership Rugby

Tykes dismiss Callard’s Leinster link

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

It had been reported that the former England fullback had accepted the role with the Dublin-based side, but Leeds have moved quickly to scotch any such speculation – though they do admit that he is technically a free agent as his deal has lapsed with the Yorkshire club.

"Jon is currently out of contract with the club, but we are confident he will be with us for next season" said Leeds chief executive Gary Hetherington.

"Since the end of the season Jon has been involved with the England U21 set up and is now on a well earned holiday but we expect to sit down and discuss a new contract upon his return."

Callard, who joined the Tykes in July 2002, added: "I am flattered to be linked with the Leinster job, but I feel it is too soon in my career to take on such a role.

"There is still lots for me to learn and develop in my coaching career and the job has not been done here at Leeds yet, hopefully I can be part of seeing that through."

Remembered by many for kicking the winning penalty for Bath in the 1998 Heineken Cup Final against Brive, Callard was the fall guy for Bath's poor performance in the 2001/2 Premiership season, as he was sacked as head coach and replaced with Australian Michael Foley.

But alongside Welshman Phil Davies at Leeds he has helped get the Yorkshire club into the Heineken Cup as well as playing some attractive rugby with an exciting backs division.

Callard also earned fame when he kiced the winning penalty in the 1994 Calcutta Cup match to claim the Grand Slam at a stunned Murrayfield, in one of his five England caps picked up between 1993-5.

The full Tykes squad reports back for the start of pre-season training on Monday, July 21.

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