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Kevin Sinfield granted leave to miss England match and return for Rob Burrow funeral

Kevin Sinfield

Kevin Sinfield has confirmed that he will miss the England and New Zealand Test after having been granted leave from his role with England Rugby Union to be able to return to England to attend the funeral of Rob Burrow.

Rob Burrow passed away on Sunday 2nd of June and it was confirmed earlier today that his funeral will take place next Sunday on a date fitting of the Leeds Rhinos legend and his iconic number seven shirt, July 7th, the seventh day of the seventh month.

The family of Rob Burrow have requested that fans don’t send flowers but have provided details on how to donate through the Leeds Players Association or to the Rob Burrow Centre for MND, should people want to make a contribution.

It will be a private ceremony but the route of the funeral car has been confirmed with fans encouraged to line the streets if they would like to show their respects to Rob Burrow.

Kevin Sinfield has now confirmed that he will be in attendance after being granted a release from the England Rugby Union camp in New Zealand.

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Kevin Sinfield to miss Test match for best mate’s funeral

Kevin Sinfield (r) with Rob Burrow after completing his Extra Mile Challenge of 101 miles in under 24hrs.

Credit: Imago Images

Kevin Sinfield is currently down under in New Zealand with England Rugby Union set to face the All Blacks. That meant he was unable to return to Headingley for when Leeds faced Leigh last week as Super League remembered and paid tribute to Rob Burrow.

He has, however, confirmed he will be attending the funeral that is a week on Sunday.

As reported by The Daily Mail, Sinfield told the media at a press conference: “The funeral is a week on Sunday. It’s a private ceremony with family and friends. People might know where it is and come and stand outside, but there are only about 100 people who have been asked to attend. The rest will be asked to line the streets, which I’m sure they will.

“I’ll fly back on Friday, which unfortunately means I’ll miss the Test. I’ll be home for two days, then I’ll be back out here getting ready for the second Test. Steve (Borthwick) has been wonderfully supportive of that; he completely understands. I couldn’t have asked for any more.”

Sinfield also revealed that Burrow would have wanted him to remain with the squad, whom he credited for their support during a difficult month. The Leeds Rhinos legend said: “Rob would want me to be here and be part of this. The lads have been fantastic – they’ve shown compassion and care for me that won’t go unnoticed. Steve and the management team have been wonderful, too.

“Apart from being at home with family, this is probably the best place for me to be. I’m busy and I’ve got some really strong friendships within the management and with players. That’s been really helpful.”

“I got a big smile off him” – Sinfield opens up on the last time he saw best mate Burrow

Rob Burrow Brothers in Arms. Kevin Sinfield is as much part of Rob Burrow's life story as anyone else. The pair would lift seven Grand Finals together before raising millions of pounds to combat Motor Neurone Disease.

Credit: Imago Images

Kevin Sinfield was straight into camp with England in the aftermath of Burrow’s passing, however, he still got to attend the special moment the ground was broken at the building of the Rob Burrow Centre for MND. He also revealed details about his last interactions with his best mate.

He explained: “It has been tough. Rob passed on Sunday afternoon and on Monday we were in camp before we came out to Japan. At that point, you want to be with family and friends and on Monday morning before I travelled down to Pennyhill (England’s HQ in Surrey) I was at the site where the Rob Burrow MND Centre is going to be. They put the first spade in the ground, and his mum and dad were there and his sisters.

“The weekend was tough. I got to see him on the Thursday before he passed. We had broken from camp. I knew he was poorly but I walked in to see him and I got a big smile off him which was brilliant.

With his England role expected to end soon, he refused to commit to anything but was keen to credit Burrow for the encouragement to back himself in the other code.

“We’ll see. In the last couple of weeks, with what has happened with Rob, it has been given me plenty to think about again. He was a big inspiration for me to come across to rugby union to start with and he’s continued to be an inspiration with the career choices I’ve made so far, after he got diagnosed four-and-a-half years ago. We’ll see.”

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