Leeds Rhinos legend Kevin Sinfield has announced that he will retire from professional rugby at the end of the current rugby union season, bringing to an end his career across both codes of the sport.
The former Rhinos and England captain switched codes to Yorkshire Carnegie in November last year and has helped his new team reach the end-of-season play-offs in the Championship, the sport’s second tier.
They will face Doncaster this weekend at Headingley – in what could now be Sinfield’s last ever match at the stadium – as part of a two-legged semi-final with a place in the final at stake, and potential promotion to the Premiership.
Sinfield, who was runner-up in the 2015 BBC Sports Personality of the Year last December, has made 14 appearances since making his debut for Yorkshire Carnegie against the Ospreys Premiership Select in November and is set to return to the side for Sunday’s game.
He ended his Rugby League career last October leading Leeds Rhinos to the treble in his final game for the club at Old Trafford. The decade he wore the captain’s armband will be remembered as a golden era that brought unprecedented success.
Commenting on the announcement, Sinfield said: “I have been privileged and deeply honoured to have enjoyed a 20-year career as a professional rugby player and to retire, on my own terms rather than through injury, is something I feel lucky to be able to do.
“I have always said that some day I will need to get a proper job and that day has now come. I have thoroughly enjoyed the last seven months with Yorkshire Carnegie and I would like to thank the coaches, players and supporters for making me feel so welcome.
“I have always gave total commitment to every team I have ever played in and therefore I have decided to hang up my boots at the end of this season. A number of opportunities have become available to me for life after rugby and I need to make the right decision for me and my family. However, before then we have got hopefully four massive games ahead of us, starting this Sunday against a very good Doncaster side at Headingley Carnegie.”