Leeds captain Kevin Sinfield receives an MBE for services to Rugby League
14 June 2014 05:43am
By Sky Sports
England and Leeds captain Kevin Sinfield has spoken of his pride after being made an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours.
The 34-year-old stand-off is the most successful captain in Rhinos' history, leading them to six Grand Final victories in the last decade and to three World Club Challenge triumphs.
The Oldham-born player has spent his entire career with Leeds, for whom he is the club's record points-scorer with 3,609 from 462 appearances, and has made a record 421 Super League appearances since making his debut as a 16-year-old in 1997.
"I'm obviously delighted and very proud and I'm sure my family will be when they find out," Sinfield said. "I think it's great that Rugby League gets some recognition again.
"I'd like to dedicate it to all those players I've played alongside over many years and coaches I've played under and all the people at Leeds really who have played such a huge part in my career."
Sinfield emulates his Leeds team-mate Jamie Peacock, his predecessor as England captain who was awarded an MBE in the Queen's 2012 New Year Honours.
"It's really nice to follow in his footsteps," Sinfield said.
"If you look back over the last couple of years at the former players who have been honoured, the likes of JP and Steve Prescott and, going back even further, one of my heroes Ellery Hanley, those three have been inspirations to a lot of people and certainly to myself."
Sinfield, who won the 2012 Golden Boot, has an open-ended contract with the Rhinos and is expected to lead England in the Four Nations Series in Australia and New Zealand this autumn.
"I still feel pretty good and I'm looking forward to the next couple of years and to hopefully bring some more silverware back to the club," he added.
"Fingers crossed I stay fit and healthy. Form is important. I'd love to improve over this next little while. We've got some big games coming up.
"The Four Nations is obviously a huge carrot dangling for everybody and I'd love to be part of it again."
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Paul Aiton will be hoping to celebrate his 30th birthday with a win at the Magic Weekend and hopes that the Rhinos can count on some local support with a group of Papua New Guineans playing at Newcastle Thunder under Stanley Gene.