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“He’s a superhero” – Ex-player urges Leeds Rhinos to hire Kevin Sinfield to new role

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Earlier in the week Leeds Rhinos announced that they would be appointing a Sporting Director and current club employee and former player Jamie Jones-Buchanan has thrown his vote of confidence behind Kevin Sinfield.

Kevin Sinfield is a legendary figure in rugby league, particularly Leeds Rhinos, but also across the country given his incredible fundraising efforts of late and that “Superhero” status was something that Jamie Jones-Buchanan has referenced when urging the Rhinos to appoint his former captain.

“People might talk about Kevin Sinfield as almost like this messianic figure. Why wouldn’t rugby league want Kevin Sinfield in the game? He’s the biggest brand outside the game, he’s a superhero and this is his origin story,” the former Rhinos forward argued on Sky Sports.

“They should be clambering over themselves to get him back in this game because he’d bring so much with him as well.”

He had also noted that both Danny McGuire and Jamie Peacock would be “outstanding” hires, noting: “All three of those guys (Danny McGuire, Jamie Peacock and Kevin Sinfield) would be outstanding. They all understand the values through which we’ve gone in that golden decade, that golden generation.”

QUIZ: Can you name these 10 former Leeds Rhinos players?

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What do Leeds Rhinos need in a Sporting Director?

Kevin Sinfield

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Jamie Jones-Buchanan’s impassioned call for Kevin Sinfield to be hired came as part of Sky Sports’ pre-game coverage for the St Helens versus Catalans Dragons match.

Host Brian Carney put it to the former Leeds man why exactly now was the right time for a new Sporting Director, something Gary Hetherington had called for earlier in the week claiming it was a hire that would “boost the Rhinos fortunes now and in the future”.

Jones-Buchanan agreed, adding:  “The club’s massive, that’s exactly what it is with all the teams that it’s got going on there. It has to be the right somebody because as we keep talking about, Leeds Rhinos have not been the club that they could and should be for a number of years.”

One man who wasn’t quite so sure, given that the Sporting Director will oversee other facets of the Rhinos family including the Netball team among others, was Sam Tomkins. The former England captain queried why there wasn’t a rugby league focus on the hire.

“That would be the same question I’d be asking. I can’t see how that’s going to give any new results to the team on the field.

“Leeds are a huge club, a massive organisation, so whoever does come in has got a big job on their hands. But first and foremost it’s the rugby league club that needs to win more on the field.

“Whoever comes in, although they’ve got a hundred different jobs to do, they’ve got to get the team winning more.”

What has Gary Hetherington said about the prospect of Kevin Sinfield taking on the role?

Leeds Rhinos

Credit: Imago Images

It’s all well and good for Jamie Jones-Buchanan to advocate for Kevin Sinfield but it will come down to Gary Hetherington to make the appointment.

Of course, Kevin Sinfield previously held the role before leaving in 2021, and Hetherington has spoken to The Yorkshire Evening Post about what will be different this time round.

Hetherington told the YEP:“Kevin was brought in to effectively oversee all the rugby league operation, which he did, but since he left it has got even bigger and more involved and more demanding in some respects because there’s a lot more protocols with the RFL and so on. The whole thing has expanded.”

Whether that is an admission from Hetherington disqualifying Kevin Sinfield from the role or simply a reality check as to the huge operation that the Rhinos are, only time will tell.

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