KEVIN Sinfield and Harry Potter are not two people that instinctively seem to gel together but Leeds Rhinos’ Jamie Jones-Buchanan believes magical objects from the wizardly world are best to describe the decorated veteran’s impact at Headingley.
The pair enjoyed unprecedented success on the field last season with Brian McDermott’s men sealing an historic treble to see off Sinfield in style as he made the switch to Yorkshire Carnegie. There have been plenty of superlatives and similes to describe the glittering career of Sinfield but, for long-time team-mate Jones-Buchanan, the 35-year-old’s influence is like a magical Horcrux. A Horcrux is, of course, a powerful object that contains part of a wizard’s soul in the world of Harry Potter.
And Jones-Buchanan, who has won four Super League titles at Leeds, believes the departing Sinfield has left a part of himself permanently at the Rhinos.
“People ask me all the time how we are going to replace Jamie Peacock or Kevin Sinfield but you can’t; they are irreplaceable and fantastic human beings,” said Jones-Buchanan.
“But what you can do is preserve the culture that they have helped to create. It’s a little bit like a snake that sheds its skin.
“While that skin is no longer alive and part of the body you can see the shape of the mould it has left behind and certainly Kevin is a huge part of what that mould is. At the end of the day you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with and for me I have spent the most time with people like Kevin Sinfield.
“There’s no doubt that he had a huge influence on me and a bit like a Horcrux in Harry Potter – the last two – he’s like a Horcrux in me. There’s a part of Kevin Sinfield that will live on even though he is not there anymore in all those players still there.”
Jones-Buchanan was speaking at the UK Coaching Awards 2015 where he accepted the Coach of the Year gong on behalf of McDermott who is working with the USA national side.
And he believes that the accolade is no less than his boss deserves after serving up a season to remember for the Yorkshire side: “Brian has a lot of humility so he would certainly try and pass all of his accolades and awards on to his players and say that he coaches a good group of weird and honest men who work hard on a daily basis. But we would flip it straight back on Brian and say that he is a fantastic coach that creates a unique environment. The club has been 120 years trying to achieve that and no one before Brian has been able to do it and it will be tough for anyone after Brian to achieve that as well.”
The UK Coaching Awards 2015, hosted by sports coach UK, is a chance to recognise excellent coaching and coaching organisations that have achieved outstanding success over the past 12 months. For more information visit:www.sportscoachuk.org