Agar backs former player to rise to challenge in support of Rob Burrow and MND Association

Leeds Rhinos Head Coach Richard Agar is backing a player he previously coached at York to meet the toughest of challenges head on in aid of the MND Association and in support of Rob Burrow.

Former York player Craig Forsyth will set out on a gruelling mission to single handed row the Atlantic Ocean on Saturday in the annual Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge.

Billed as the world’s toughest row, the event sees rowers travel more than 3,000 miles from the Canary Islands to Antigua and Barbuda.

Craig is just one of eight solo rowers attempting the challenge and will row for two hours before sleeping for two hours, around the clock in the worst of the conditions that the Atlantic Ocean can throw at hime. Looking ahead to the race, Craig said, “I enjoy a life of adventure, new experiences and challenges to test my boundaries.  To row across the Atlantic is something I have read about, and wanted to do for some time. 

“I know that the thought of being out in the middle of the great ocean with nothing to hear but your own thoughts and nothing to see but miles of endless water does terrify people, for me it is bliss. With the support of my family and friends, I’ll be leaving my native Yorkshire and its comforts (apart from Yorkshire Tea) behind to head for the Atlantic Ocean.   

“Having embarked on a few extreme endurance challenges in the past I know the physical and mental strength needed and while relishing the test this offers, and being able to prepare physically for the rowing, I am aware of the highs and lows that may be ahead of me.”

Craig is raising money for Sporting Chance and the MND Association. Commenting on the inspiration he will take from Rob Burrow, he added, “One of those life stopping moments I will always remember when I heard of Rob’s devastating news.    

“Rugby League is a family sport.  It was my families sport, watching and playing.  It has proved time and time again how it draws together, through all clubs when one of its’ warriors need it.  Now is that time, joining together to raise much needed funds to learn about and fight this terrible disease,” added Craig.

Richard Agar says he is in no doubt that Craig will complete his mission. He added, “Craig comes from a Rugby League family, his dad Colin was a Championship winner at Bradford, and Craig played professionally too including under my coaching at York. Since he has finished playing he has tackled a number of extreme sport events. I know he has taken a lot of inspiration from Rob’s fight but also everything Kevin Sinfield achieved over the last few weeks and I know having our support will help in during this daunting voyage across the Atlantic.”

You can sponsor Craig by clicking here or follow him during his journey on the official website at or on Craig’s official page at