Kevin Sinfield details how change in Leeds role led to decision to leave

KEVIN Sinfield admits he is leaving Leeds because he no longer got satisfaction from his off-field role as it changed.

The Rhinos’ director of rugby is stepping down at the end of the season, with him likely to become a coach at Leicester Tigers RU.

And he revealed the reasons why he had decided his future lies away from the 13-a-side code, even though his heart will stay in it.

After helping turn Leeds around off the field, Sinfield believes it is time to get more involved on the field after the change in role, which has been massively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said: “It’s been a really difficult decision. However, over the last 18 months the role has changed significantly to the one I came in to do.

“What I kept coming back to was I wasn’t getting enough satisfaction from the role.

“It’s become very political, a lot of bureaucracy and red tape. It’s very much administration but not enjoyable administration. It's become a role which I get no satisfaction from whatsoever.

“Having two games postponed is not great and it shows the difficulties and challenges the club has had to face.

“It’s made my role very, very different to the one I came in to do. I feel I'm too far away from the rugby.”

Sinfield, who captained Leeds to seven Grand Final victories, admitted he had met with chief executive Gary Hetherington over maybe changing positions at Leeds – but having started to think about his future as far back as December there was no answer.

And he admitted his time raising millions of pounds for both pal Rob Burrow and the Motor Neurone Disease Association by running seven marathons in seven days, which saw him recently awarded an OBE, brought clarity.

Sinfield, 40, added: “We couldn’t find a solution, so it was the right time.

“This hasn’t been something that’s happened over the last couple of days, this probably started in December. I started reflecting for a number of different reasons.

“I certainly got some perspective from Rob and it certainly hammered it home to me that you've got to do something you truly enioy and get satisfaction from.

"The fundraising and work has been the biggest source of satisfaction and inspiration. Some of the work will continue. Rob firmly understands my position on fundraising will not change.

“I’ll do everything I can for the rest of the year. I’m fully committed. My commitment to the club and the sport will never change, no matter where I am.

“My heart and head will remain firmly in rugby league. It’s given me everything I’ve got and still means everything to me.”

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