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Kevin Sinfield heads to Manchester United to spread fundraising message ahead of his mammoth challenge

Watching sport during the 2000s and early 2010s there were two dominant teams in England, Leeds Rhinos in rugby league and Manchester United in football, and now Rhinos legend Kevin Sinfield has headed to United’s training ground ahead of his incredible new fundraising event for MND.

Sinfield has been busy in his post-playing career, coaching in both league and union but he’s perhaps most notable for his incredible fundraising efforts all in the aid of MND and his former teammate Rob Burrow.

The former Rhinos skipper is set to begin another incredible challenge this coming week but ahead of that he headed to Manchester United’s training ground Carrington.

Both United and the Rhinos benefited from golden generations that saw them form incredible trophy runs during the 2000s, and Sinfield has explained how spending time at the training ground allows him to learn and prepare for his mammoth challenge.

“It’s a huge honour to be here learning from some of the best,” he told Manchester United media.

“I had some time with the manager, some time with Steve [McClaren] and a couple of the players and I’ve got a load from it. It’s been really enjoyable.

“Clearly, there’s a different level of contact in football but actually, with the training, there are some crossovers, certainly with it being an invasion game.

“So it’s understanding how the tactics work, how messages are delivered and then I think with most team sports, with boys and girls, or football or rugby, that unity, that togetherness, that connection that players have is the same across all sports. So yeah, it’s a wonderful environment and I’ve really enjoyed my time here.”

On his upcoming challenge Sinfield focused more about the reason why, once again referencing his incredible friend Rob Burrow as the major motivation and explaining to the Premier League stars.

He explained: “I don’t often get a chance to talk about my playing career, but some of the guys had some questions and certainly some interest in the work I’ve been able to do over the last couple of years with our team and, in particular, around Rob and the MND Association.

“So I’ve been explaining some of that. It shows the awareness and the way we’ve been able to shift the dial on the disease, and now we can try to improve it going forwards.”

Of course he’s a man who is very familiar with Old Trafford having lifted seven Grand Finals with the Rhinos, but also having finished his incredible ‘Seven in Seven’ challenge on the pitch for the World Cup final just last year.

Reflecting on that, Sinfield said: “It was immense. To walk into a wonderful stadium, that I was fortunate enough to play at a number of times with Leeds, in front of 80,000 rugby league fans was very, very special.

“To feel the support of that stadium for the MND community was very powerful. Now we’ve got seven marathons, plus an extra mile each day, in seven different cities across the UK and Ireland. It’ll be our fourth challenge now as a team.

“It’s something I’m incredibly passionate about. I think it’s probably the reason I’m here today. If you go back in the journey, the reason I went into coaching was because of Rob and his journey, but I think we’ve found that we can make a small difference to a beautiful community’s lives, and we’ve been able to do that through raising awareness and funds.

“The intangible in all this is how we’ve been able to make people feel about this community and how the community feels about each other. We’re immensely proud of the work we’ve done.”

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