Leeds Rhinos legend Kevin Sinfield to leave club after Sunday's visit of Warrington Wolves: Director of rugby set to join Leicester Tigers

Club legend Kevin Sinfield will leave Leeds Rhinos after Sunday's home game against Warrington Wolves.

The director of rugby's departure to join the coaching staff at rugby union outfit Leicester Tigers has been brought forward from the end of this season.

Sinfield revealed last month he was leaving the club he captained to seven Super League titles and where he has headed the rugby department since July, 2018.

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A statement from Rhinos said: "Having worked with head coach Richard Agar to complete the new signings of James Bentley and Aidan Sezer, along with the resigning of forward Matt Prior, Sinfield has agreed with chief executive Gary Hetherington that he will depart his role at the club."

Kevin Sinfield. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

Sinfield said, “From the first day I arrived back at the club, I said my only aim was to leave the club in a better position than I found it in.

"Over the last three and half years we have worked tirelessly to reshape our squad under the constraints of the salary cap.

"We have rewarded our young talent, we have attracted quality players to the club and most importantly we have installed a culture that I am confident we will reap the rewards for in the years ahead."

Sinfield stressed: “When I speak about Leeds Rhinos it will always be ‘we and us’ that I refer to.

"Having spent virtually my entire adult life here, just because I will be doing a different day job does not mean that will ever change.

"We have got some exciting projects coming up in the city over the next few years that I will be part of and I will be back at Emerald Headingley whenever my commitments permit.

"Everyone at the club knows I am on the end of the phone and will offer my help and support whenever it is needed.

"I am confident this group of players can go on and achieve even more success for this great club both in the short and long term and I wish everyone all the best."

Hetherington paid tribute to Sinfield's contribution since his debut in 1997.

“On behalf of everyone connected to Leeds Rhinos, I would like to thank Kevin for his outstanding service to the club, especially since his return in the role as director of rugby," he said.

"His record as a player is unsurpassed and some may have thought it was a risk for him to return, however he answered the call and has steered us through an unprecedented tough period, both on and off the pitch, with great leadership.

"As we hopefully head towards a return to normality and with our squad being finalised for next season, after discussions with Kevin, we agreed that this was an opportune time for him to move on.

"We wish him all the best for his new challenge with Leicester Tigers and know he will always be welcome back at Emerald Headingley.”