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How Rob Burrow helped Kevin Sinfield land huge role as he explains Leeds Rhinos exit

Recent months have been something of a whirlwind for Leeds Rhinos legend Kevin Sinfield.

After helping Leicester Tigers end their Premiership drought, Sinfield ran seven ultramarathons in seven days to raise further funds and awareness in the fight against Motor Neurone Disease taking his tally to £7 million.

Then he was appointed alongside former Leicester coach Steve Borthwick in England Rugby Union coaching set up and in his mind this is all thanks to his friend Rob Burrow.

“The background as to why I’ve ended up here is probably important,” Sinfield said according to The Telegraph.

“My old mate got diagnosed with motor neurone disease in December 2019 and in that next 12 months a whole lot happened in the UK with the pandemic.

“Towards the back end of that year I was able to do the first [charity challenge} and as soon as I finished that challenge I knew I had to do something different with my life. A lot of that was based around Rob.

“He’s faced with this horrific disease and I realised I needed to take some risks and I needed to find more challenge in my life. The opportunity at Leicester presented itself, which I jumped at, but if you’d have told me at that stage that in little more than a year, I’d been here with England I’d have to pinch myself. It’s been an unbelievable journey.”

He also explained the reasons for his Leeds Rhinos exit after guiding the Rhinos to a Challenge Cup in 2020 as Director of Rugby.

”I was director of the rugby, but it was very much an administrative role, having done a Masters in business studies,” he said.

“I thought that would be best for me going forwards. But you get so much fulfilment from playing that you don’t get when you go back to normal life. And I struggled with that for a couple of years.

“I was not lost but I was trying to fill a void I could never fill again. Then I stumbled across coaching. I never wanted to be a coach before, but then I have really enjoyed my time at Leicester. Working with Steve, of course, and with the players has been brilliant and has offered me the chance to help people, top and bottom.

“Again, that all stems from Rob. Very quickly after he was diagnosed I realised I wanted to help people and I’m able to do that in a rugby environment, because that’s what I know.”

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