LEEDS RHINOS director of rugby Kevin Sinfield says one of his main aims is to help players rediscover the lost “values” of playing for the club.
He takes charge of his first home game tonight since replacing sacked head coach Brian McDermott.
Sinfield had been in the role just 48 hours before Sunday’s 42-10 loss at Castleford Tigers, a record-extending eighth successive league defeat that left them ninth with just three games to go in the regular season.
But he has now had time to really work with the group ahead of this evening’s visit from Wakefield Trinity who are in need of a win, too, to avoid being dragged into the Qualifiers battle.
Sinfield hopes to bring in two new players before the transfer deadline in a fortnight’s time, with one believed to be Catalans Dragons hooker Paul Aiton, who played alongside him for Leeds in 2014 and 2015.
But his immediate task has been reminding the squad of what it truly takes to represent the famous club.
“There’s a couple of personnel changes I’d like to make, but having looked at it in depth I think we’ve lost some direction,” said Sinfield.
“We’ve probably lost the values of what it takes to be a Leeds Rhinos player. The spirit of being a Leeds Rhinos player, the things our players and our staff need to live by, we’ve lost some of that.
“I knew it straight away when I walked in. I could see it and smell it. You’ve got to be a special kind of person to work here.
“The jersey weighs more than any other and it takes a real character to do it justice and do themselves justice while they’re here.
We’ve probably lost the values of what it takes to be a Leeds Rhinos player. The spirit of being a Leeds Rhinos player, the things our players and our staff need to live by, we’ve lost some of that. I knew it straight away when I walked in. I could see it and smell it.Kevin Sinfield
“We’ve lost some of that and we need to get it back. That’s something I’ve worked particularly hard on this week. We are ninth for a reason, but we need to bring that belief back and we need a performance against Wakefield.
“They’ve a big, physical team and on their day can beat anybody in the comp’. They like coming to Leeds, but we’re looking forward to this and have belief in our 17.”
Carl Ablett returns from injury and will lead the side with Sinfield revealing the captaincy will now be shared around a leadership group also including acting captain Stevie Ward, Adam Cuthbertson and Brad Singleton.