Shaun Edwards has given his thoughts on Kevin Sinfield’s fundraising work in which he has raised millions for MND in support of his best friend and former team-mate Rob Burrow.
Burrow was diagnosed with MND in 2019 after a trophy-laden rugby league career alongside Sinfield at Leeds Rhinos, with the pair winning seven Super League titles together.
Sinfield has so far helped raise over £7 million for MND charities by completing three running challenges.
His first challenge was 7 in 7, where he ran seven marathons in seven days. His second was the ‘Extra Mile’ challenge, where he ran 101 miles in 24 hours, the distance from Leicester to Leeds. More recently, he undertook the Extra 7 in 7, where he ran seven ultra-marathons in seven days.
Edwards, speaking to BBC Five Live’s Rugby Union Daily podcast, called on Sinfield to receive a Knighthood his fundraising efforts.
“The work he’s done for his mate Rob Burrow, he deserves a Knighthood for me,” said Edwards.
“I know one thing, if I had to vote I’d vote for him to get a Knighthood, for the work he’s done for Rob. He’s just a great all-round lad.”
Sinfield has made a great start to his career in coaching Union. He was part of the coaching staff that guided Leicester Tigers to a Premiership title last season, and has recently been appointed England defence coach, the same role as Edwards in Fabien Galthié’s French team.
“When he first came into Union, he kind of contacted me,” Edwards told Matt Dawson on the podcast. “I actually didn’t really know Kevin that well because I’d retired before he started playing.
“We had three or four conversations over Skype like this, sharing information. He helped me a little bit and I just sort of was explaining Rugby Union to him… I think there’s definitely a mutual respect between us.”
Edwards and Sinfield are not alone in being League stars that have crossed over into Union coaching in the Six Nations teams this year, as they are joined by Wigan legend Andy Farrell, who is currently in charge of Ireland.
Farrell has guided Ireland to the top of the world rankings, and they are amongst the favourites to lift the World Cup trophy this Autumn.
Edwards concluded by giving his thoughts on why League coaches are successful in Union, adding: “I think it’s just the emphasis on defence.
“We’ve always been brought up you have to practise your defence at least 25%, 30% of your training sessions.”