Leeds Rhinos legend Kevin Sinfield says he now thinks like a rugby union coach as he opens up on transition

Leeds Rhinos legend Kevin Sinfield is not only a legend of Headingley but also a rugby league legend but despite that he is now working with his former boss at Leicester Tigers Steve Borthwick as England Rugby Union Defence Coach.

Speaking recently, the former Leeds star has said he now thinks like a rugby union coach but is still adjusting in some areas.

“Steve is a very trusting guy and I am too, but my gut feel at the start was that he was a guy who I really wanted to do my best for,” the 42-year-old said according to Rugby Pass.

“I felt like he would support me when things got tough, which is when you really need people. I felt like that, with him, I had that right from the start.

“He knew that I would have some flaws and would make some mistakes and get loads wrong.

“At first I was probably a little bit more thought through because it took me longer than it does now to translate stuff.

“I do think like a union coach, I do, but there remain some elements that are ingrained in me that I’m switching across.

“There are some bits that may be different – not better or worse, just different – and so my suggestions can be a little bit different at times.

“But I always felt like Steve would support me through that and help me out. He’s been incredible, a really good model.”

He also explained the dynamic he expects to have alongside Borthwick at England:

“My job is not to sit here and say ‘yes’ and nod my head. My job is to ensure that the team is in the best possible place.

“If that means I ask a question for the betterment of the team, Steve’s firmly behind that and wants me to do it. He’s openly asked me to challenge him. I do that respectfully.”