Betfred Super League champions Leeds Rhinos were joined by Rob Burrow and Danny McGuire at a civic reception hosted by the Lord Mayor of Leeds Coun Jane Dowson at Leeds Civic Hall.
It was held to celebrate the Rhinos success last October when they became Super League Champions for a record-extending eighth time by beating rivals Castleford Tigers at Old Trafford.
The team were joined by young representatives from 19 community rugby league clubs across the city to demonstrate the role Leeds Rhinos Foundation has in inspiring the next generation of young players.
There was special recognition for the outstanding service and dedication by Rob Burrow and Danny McGuire during nearly two decades at Emerald Headingley Stadium.
McGuire, who has now joined Hull KR, captained the Rhinos to victory in the Grand Final with a man of the match winning performance, including two tries.
McGuire said: “I am very proud of my roots in Leeds and I would like to thank the Lord Mayor for recognising Rob and myself with this special occasion.
“To finish my time at the Rhinos as we did last October was special and I hope that we continue to inspire the next generation of young rugby league players through the success we gained together.”
Burrow has retired from playing and joined the Rhinos back room team as the Head of Academy Coaching.
Burrow said: “I’m thriving in my new role. It was the right decision for me to finish as a player last year.”
The Rhinos were also presented with a specially created souvenir of the City of Leeds by the Lord Mayor, a golden owl. It will be presented to dignitaries from Melbourne when Leeds take on Melbourne Storm on Friday February 16.
Leeds Rhinos chief executive Gary Hetherington said, “We are always privileged to accept the Lord Mayor’s invitation for a civic reception to celebrate the team’s achievements.
“It was partly important this year to commemorate two outstanding individuals in Danny and Rob.
“Both men have been true professionals throughout their career at the club and are shining examples for the young people in Leeds of what hard work and dedication can help you achieve.
“We are proud to be representing our great city when we travel to the other side of the world next month to face Melbourne Storm and we hope to bring yet more silverware back to Leeds.”
The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Coun Jane Dowson said, “It is wonderful to not only welcome the players but also the backroom staff who play such an important role in the club’s success.
“Representatives are also present from many of our fantastic community clubs from across the City so that they too can join in celebrating the Rhinos success.
“Ryan Hall and Kallum Watkins were also members of the successful England Rugby League World Cup team who got through to the final last year.
“It was my honour to present a specially created souvenir of a golden Owl from the City of Leeds to be presented to dignitaries from the City of Melbourne when Leeds take on Melbourne Storm on Friday February 16.”