AFTER two weeks of training, Kevin Sinfield will get an opportunity to put what he has learned into practice tomorrow when he plays his first game of rugby union.
The 35-year-old former Leeds Rhinos rugby league captain has been named among Yorkshire Carnegie’s replacements for the British and Irish Cup tie against Ospreys Premiership Select at Huddersfield YMCA (1.30pm).
Sinfield switched codes last month after the Super League Grand Final win over Wigan Warriors which completed a clean-sweep of domestic trophies in rugby league.
Since then he has undergone a crash course in the finer points of his new sport and tomorrow’s tie will be an indication of how much he has learned and what still needs to be done.
“I just want to have a game,” said Sinfield, who is expected to make his Championship bow for Yorkshire Carnegie against London Welsh at Headingley on November 27.
“I have done a decent amount of training now and I just want to get a read on where I am at, what I need to do now and where I need to go.
“It is new, it’s fresh and every bit the challenge I thought it would be. All the lads are fantastic, but I need to play and hopefully I will get a taste on Sunday.”
Only three of the team which started last week’s Championship defeat at Bedford have retained their place for tomorrow: full-back Jonah Holmes, second-row Matt Smith and flanker Josh Bainbridge.
Scrum-half Chris Pilgrim will captain the side and prop Ben Hooper is poised to make his first appearance of the season after recovering from injury. Youngster Jordan Poole is another player in line to make his debut off the bench.
Coach Bryan Redpath is keen to see Sinfield in action, alongside some of the club’s fringe players.
He said: “Kev has got better every session. He will be on the bench and we’ll see when it is right to introduce him.
“He is picking up stuff every session and learning and this will give him some reality.”
Redpath added: “We’ve picked a strong side. We’ve got quite a few lads who have not played as much over the first nine or 10 weeks and it is an opportunity for them, as well as some of the younger lads who have been out on loan or injured.”
The Championship is Carnegie’s priority this year, but the coach insisted he does not see the Cup as a distraction.
“It was disappointing to lose last weekend, but some of our actions were great,” Redpath explained.
“It highlighted certain things we need to be better at as a decision-making group and we have a great opportunity to work on that before we get to the play-off games at the end of the year.”