England captain Sam Tomkins has called Kevin Sinfield a “winner” and commented on the mentality that made him such a dominant player and role model following his retirement.
Sinfield enjoyed a trophy-laden career and captained Leeds Rhinos in a decade of dominance, playing alongside a young Tomkins at international level for England during the early 2010s.
Since hanging his boots up, Sinfield, who is now the defence coach at Leicester Tigers, has embarked on a number of mammoth challenges to raise money for ex-team-mate and close friend Rob Burrow who is suffering with MND.
Sinfield has raised a staggering £7 million for MND-related charities over the last three years and speaking on the podcast of former Scotland Rugby player Jim Hamilton, Tomkins hailed Sinfield, bringing up his humble nature, as well as his natural ability to win.
“There’s certain people that have got that winning mentality and I feel like you could put them in any walk of life, any job, any industry and they’d be successful,” said Tomkins.
“That’s a trait that not everybody has got. The people you’ve touched on have won everything,” Tomkins said in reference to Sinfield as well as rugby league legends Andy Farrell and Shaun Edwards.
But on Sinfield, Tomkins had high praise for a man who he had lined up against on plenty of big occasions.
“Kev Sinfield was dominant in Super League for a long long time and at leading the club.
“He was captain of Leeds Rhinos at 22 year’s old and they were no good. He came in and changed it, he set a culture from 22.”
Tomkins jokes: “At 22 I was just deciding which car I should buy. I wasn’t thinking about culture or anything like that. Kevin Sinfield was.
“He’s nearly 40 and all he’s done since 22 is get better at being a leader.
“You are what you repeatedly do, if you’re repeatedly winning then you’re a winner.”
Sinfield has just completed seven ultra marathons in seven days during the week-long build up to the recent Rugby League World Cup Final, and he has raised over £2 million so far on that challenge alone.
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