Leeds Rhinos and England legend Kevin Sinfield has revealed he will put his boots on for a final time this weekend.
Former Rhinos captain Sinfield, who retired from all forms of rugby back in 2016, once vowed never to play another game again. But he’s changed his mind, and it’s for a great cause.
Sinfield has revealed he will play a small part in Jamie Jones-Buchanan’s Testimonial againt Bradford Bulls on Sunday, January 12 at 3pm.
The game at Headingley was originally meant to be just for JJB, but funds will now be split between the former second row forward and Rob Burrow after the latter was diagnosed with motor neurone disease.
Sinfield admits he will not be playing for long, but believes it is worth getting back on the field for at least 60 seconds because of the friendship they all hold. Burrow and Jamie Peacock are also expected to make cameo appearances.
Sinfield said: “I did say at his last Testimonial dinner that there might be a little twist in the tale, but I never told him what it was. In the back of my mind, I always thought it would be nice to get back on the field for 30 seconds.
“I did say to myself I would never play again – but some things are bigger than that. The friendship we’ve got is really important to me. And then obviously Rob. Rob is saying he will step out for a few minutes, I think it’s huge for all of us, that group that played together.
“There is almost a calling there now for a couple more to step out. We’re not going to be out there long. It’s crazy to think, you know I’ve been retired four years now, crazy to mix it with these guys nows.
“For a minute, a minute and a half, at the end I think will be really special for a number of us. The game is for Jamie and Rob for different reasons, but they are really important reasons as well.”
It is not just former Leeds players that are coming out in support of JJB and Burrow, but Bradford are doing the same as well.
Robbie Hunter-Paul, Nathan McAvoy, Wayne Godwin, Matty Blythe, Stuart & James Fielden are just a few players willing to walk out on the field near the end and get involved once again.
Hunter-Paul told the Bulls website: “I am really looking forward to pulling on the jersey again and getting back out on the field with all the boys – even though it is a bit daunting knowing I will be the oldest player on the pitch!
“We enjoyed some classic matches against Leeds over the years and it promises to be a special, emotional afternoon celebrating the career of Jamie Jones-Buchanan and rallying round in support of a true legend in Rob Burrow.
“I call on the Bradford Bulls fans to purchase a ticket and get to the Emerald Headingley Stadium on Sunday and show their support to Rob and his family.”