Leeds Rhinos legend Kevin Sinfield has finally been officially confirmed as Defence Coach at England Rugby Union, something that had been expected for almost a fortnight.
It came after Leicester Tigers had confirmed that he and Head Coach Steve Borthwick would be leaving the club this morning.
It was confirmed that Sinfield would join Borthwick in making the switch from the Premiership winners to England and the RFU made these comments about the Rhinos legend in their statement.
“Former England captain and forwards coach Steve Borthwick has been announced as England men’s head coach from today.
“Kevin Sinfield has also been appointed to the position of England men’s defence coach, taking on the role this week.
“Sinfield started playing Rugby League at Waterhead ARLFC. He was a player, captain and director of rugby for Leeds Rhinos where he led the team to seven Super League championships and two Challenge Cup successes. He was a loose forward as well as a stand-0ff.
“He played 26 rugby league tests for England which he captained and 14 tests for Great Britain. He holds the record for the highest points-scorer in Super League history and earned many individual accolades including the Lance Todd Trophy (2005), Harry Sunderland Trophy (2009, 2012) and the Golden Boot (2012). Sinfield has been defence coach alongside Borthwick in their record-breaking run at Leicester Tigers.
“Sinfield was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2014 Birthday Honours for services to rugby league and Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2021 Birthday Honours for services to rugby league football and charitable fundraising.
“He has raised over £7m for charity and championed research in support of ex-Leeds teammate Rob Burrow, who was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND), his fundraising also honours former rugby union player Doddie Weir and former footballer Stephen Darby, both of whom were diagnosed with MND.”
Following this, the RFL have made a comment on his new role saying on Twitter:
“Congratulations to Rugby League legend Kevin Sinfield on being appointed as Defence Coach with England Rugby Union.”
It comes as many worry for rugby league as Sinfield follows Wigan Warriors duo Shaun Edwards and Andy Farrell in having a bigger impact in union than league at the end of their careers.
Some had called on Sinfield to replace Ralph Rimmer as the RFL’s CEO.
That of course will not happen now.