Leeds Rhinos: Sinfield reveals greatest week in his rugby league career

Leeds Rhinos' Kevin Sinfield with the Super League trophy.Leeds Rhinos' Kevin Sinfield with the Super League trophy.
Leeds Rhinos' Kevin Sinfield with the Super League trophy.
LEEDS RHINOS legend Kevin Sinfield has revealed what was the greatest week of his rugby league career.

The seven-time Grand Final-winning captain retired from rugby league at the end of last season, after guiding Rhinos to an historic clean-sweep of available trophies.

His conversion of Josh Walters’ second-half try took his points tally for Leeds to a record 3,967 and proved the difference between Rhinos and Wigan Warriors at the end of the Grand Final. Sinfield, who is the third-highest points scorer in rugby league’s 121-year history, switched codes last autumn to play for Rhinos’ rugby union sister club Yorkshire Carnegie.

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A celebration of his time in rugby league, written with Yorkshire Evening Post reporter Peter Smith, will be published this week (Great Northern Books, £20) and Sinfield is to meet fans at the official launch at Headingley Carnegie on Saturday.

The book – Kevin Sinf13ld My League Years In Words And Pictures – is a pictorial history of the former England captain’s career from the day he first joined Oldham amateur club Waterhead through to last year’s all-conquering campaign.

Despite winning every available domestic honour, Sinfield has picked out one week as the best of his entire time in the 13-a-side code.

Speaking in the book, Sinfield reveals he almost quit international rugby after England’s disappointing 2008 World Cup campaign.

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He eventually decided to continue and had a new lease of life when Steve McNamara was appointed coach.

“In 2012 we won the Grand Final and I won the Harry Sunderland award,” he recalls.

“Two days later Steve gave me the captain’s job and that was probably the best week of my career.”

Rhinos won the Super League title, beating Warrington Wolves at Old Trafford, for the second successive year in 2012, despite finishing fifth in the table and having lost to the same opponents in the Challenge Cup final less than two months earlier.

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Reflecting on Leeds’ charge to the 2012 championship, Sinfield says: “I played some of my best rugby in those six weeks and it was a really enjoyable time.

“We had such a tough run, but we stuck together and came through it and to turn around the result from the Cup final was fantastic. I think Warrington felt we had snatched it away from them the year before and they were going to put that right, but we owed them after Wembley and to overturn that and win the trophy from fifth spot again was absolutely unreal.”

Sinfield also details why he chose to join Leeds, despite offers from Warrington and Wigan. He outlines his views on the coaches he worked under and players he turned out alongside and comments on controversies including the only red card of his career, against Castleford Tigers in 2014.

Former Evening Post photographer Steve Riding, who covered Sinfield’s entire career, is the book’s picture editor. It includes more than 330 images, many from the Evening Post and Yorkshire Post archives.

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Sinfield’s book will be officially launched at Rhinos’ Headingley Carnegie store on Saturday from noon-2pm.

Other signings include: Philip Howard Books, Leeds, Tuesday, March 29, 4-6pm; Waterstones, Leeds, Friday, April 1, 1-2.30pm;

Tesco, Seacroft, Tuesday, April 5, time to be confirmed; WH Smith, White Rose Centre, Leeds, Thursday, April 14, 3-4.30pm;

Waterstones, York, Saturday, April 16, 1-2.30pm.

Signed copies can be ordered by calling 01274 735056 or visiting www.kevinsinfieldypoffer.co.uk