LEEDS RHINOS DEBUT: v Hull (H) 06.04.01
FINAL RHINOS GAME: v Castleford (N) 07.10.17
HERITAGE NUMBER: 1326
Rob Burrow played his entire career with the Rhinos and won every honour with the club as part of their golden generation. A hard working and dedicated player, his fearless performances made him one of the most respected players in the Rhinos ranks.
He was a tough competitor on the field who gave his all for the team and has the ability to create a piece of magic that was a trademark of the Rhinos team in recent years.
Rob rose through the club’s Academy ranks to make his debut in 2001 and scored seven tries in 17 games. He was the surprise package in his first season, making his debut as a substitute in a game where the Rhinos lost to Hull and signalled the departure of coach Dean Lance and the arrival of Daryl Powell. Daryl included Rob in the starting line up in his first game in charge against Warrington and Rob rewarded him by scoring the only try in the 36-6 defeat. Rob proved to be one of the most exciting players that season and was voted as Super League Young Player of the Year in 2001.
Three years later he helped the Rhinos end a 32 year wait for the Championship with victory over Bradford in the Grand Final. In 2005 Rob was in sensational form and made 28 starts in his 33 appearances. He finished behind Mark Calderwood and Keith Senior in the try scoring charts with 21 tries in the regular season.
In 2007 Rob won the club’s Player of the Year and Harry Sunderland Award as Man of the Match in the Grand Final, before going onto perform at the highest level for Great Britain in the Test series against New Zealand where he was named Player of the Tournament. He was also the runner up in the BBC’s Yorkshire Sports Personality of the Year awards.
He began 2008 where he had left off and was outstanding in the team’s victory over Melbourne Storm in the Carnegie World Club Challenge, having scored a try in the team’s win over Canterbury three years earlier when the team were first named World Champions. That year he also became one of only seven players in the club’s history to win three Championships, making history in the process as part of the only Leeds team to have recorded back to back championships as well as being the only Super League side to have won the Grand Final and World Club Challenge in the same year. The 2009 season was interrupted by injuries however he still managed 27 appearances and scored nine tries and his 900th point for the club as he developed into one of the leaders of the team and won his fourth Super League title.
Rob followed this up with another 24 appearances in 2010, missing part of the season with a knee injury and played in the World Club Challenge and Carnegie Challenge Cup final.
His performance in the 2011 Super League Grand Final will be remembered as one of the greatest ever seen. Coming off the bench, he scored a superb try to set the Rhinos on their way to an unbelievable victory. He won his second Harry Sunderland award in the match, a unanimous decision, picking up 100% of the votes.
In 2012 he played the majority of the season at hooker and missed only seven games with a shoulder and cheek injury and he played in his fifth Challenge Cup Final and won his third World Club Challenge and sixth Grand Final. He ended the year as part of the England side who won the Autumn International series and was a try scorer in the win against France.
The Challenge Cup was added to his long list of honours in 2014 as the team triumphed over Castleford Tigers and the following he scored a try against Hull KR at Wembley as the team retained the famous piece of silverware. He made 30 appearances during the incredible 2015 campaign that saw the Rhinos capture the treble for the first time in their history.
The following year he captained the Rhinos in a final for the first time when Leeds lost out to NRL Premiers North Queensland Cowboys at Emerald Headingley and making 28 appearances in total in 2016.
The following year would prove to be his final one at the club but it finished on the finest possible note as he collected his eighth Super League Grand Final winners ring, lifting the trophy with his lifelong friend Danny McGuire at Old Trafford in their final game together ending an odyssey that began in the junior ranks at the Rhinos.
Rob signed for the club from Featherstone ARLFC and in his first 12 months as a full time professional, rugby league took Rob to America, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa twice. He captained the England Academy tour of New Zealand and Australia in 2001.
In 2003, Rob made the step up to senior representative honours playing for Yorkshire in the County of Origin. He followed this up for England in the European Nations Cup and was one of the outstanding players in the tournament scoring two tries in the Final against France.
In 2004 Rob joined up with the England team again for the European Nations Championships, in which he scored a hat trick against France putting them into the final against Ireland where he again scored a try to help England gain the win.
It was 2005 though after his superb domestic season that Rob got his first call up to the Great Britain squad, making his debut off the bench in the Lions’ opening game against New Zealand. In 2006 Rob was once again named in the Great Britain squad for the trip down under for the Tri Nations but was unfortunate not to feature in any of the games. He made up for this disappointment a year later when he triumphed in the Great Britain side who claimed a Series whitewash over New Zealand. His inspirational performances proved he was worthy of his place and he was deservedly named Player of the Tournament. In 2008 he scored three goals for England in their win over France and then ended the year as part of the England World Cup squad.