Leeds Rhinos captain Kevin Sinfield is in no mood for reflecting upon the headbutting incident that has landed him a two-game ban, insisting he is simply focused on making his comeback and being in optimum shape for it.
Sinfield’s headbutt on Castleford Tigers’ Luke Dorn earlier this month resulted in him being sent off for the first time in his career, and he was subsequently charged by the Rugby Football League with a grade C offence.
The 33-year-old submitted an early-guilty plea following the RFL’s announcement and due to a near-exemplary previous record, his suspension is only for two matches, meaning he will be available for Leeds’ Tetley’s Challenge Cup semi-final clash with Warrington Wolves on August 9.
Asked today about the incident, Sinfield said: “My focus now is on getting back playing.
(Thankfully, our focus is very much on that headbutt)
“I understand people would like me to comment on it, but I think people have already made their minds up in terms of their opinions on it, and that is fine by me.
“I’m serving my punishment and I’m looking forward to getting back playing. I have no reason to go back over it.
“The ban has given me some time to just train hard and get some bumps and niggles right.
“I am training as hard as I can throughout this period. I’ll be up for selection from late Friday evening and I’m looking forward to the Warrington game.
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“People can say what they want. It is pointless me offering any reasons or comments on it – everyone else has made their minds up so I won’t try to change anybody’s. I understand it is part and parcel of the job and environment I’m in.
“I’m just looking forward to getting back playing, as I’m sure everyone else has been who has faced a ban or been injured.”
Sinfield admits the Challenge Cup holds particular significance for him given the only time his club have won the trophy during his glittering career was in 1999, when he was not selected for the final.
But the England skipper is also keen to keep things in context, emphasising that his work with Men United v Prostate Cancer has helped him appreciate what is truly important.
By backing the campaign, Sinfield is part of an army of supporters fighting against one of the major killers amongst males in the UK.
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Asked about the Challenge Cup, he said: “I’d be lying if I said it didn’t (hold particular significance for him) – it is something I’d love to win.
“It is an important trophy and the club have not won it since 1999 – it has been too long for a club as good as ours.
“But I think being involved in something like this campaign shows you what is really important in life.
“As much as we want to win the trophy, as much as we want to get hold of those winners’ medals, it is important to get a reality check as well.”