Kevin Sinfield wants to carry on playing for England

Kevin Sinfield says England’s heart-breaking World Cup exit has not forced him into international retirement.

The 33-year-old Leeds Rhinos captain charged out to stop New Zealand’s Shaun Johnson in the dying seconds of their Wembley semi-final but let the halfback through to score the decisive points that sent England packing. No blame was assigned to Sinfield but he refused to answer questions about it in the post-match press conference.

“I got asked the question about whether I’d retire within minutes of coming out of the dressing room [at Wembley in November] and at that minute I didn’t want to talk about rugby,” he said.

“It was an easy way to answer it but, if Steve (coach McNamara) feels I can do a job, I’m certainly available. To represent your country is the highest honour you can achieve.”

Sinfield also took the opportunity to back Steve McNamara, who was reappointed as England coach following the World Cup.

“I think it was important he kept the job,” said Sinfield. “I thought he did a fantastic job over the last three years.

“We had quite a big turnaround of senior players in that time and I think there is a new group of leaders emerging in that team.”