Sinfield delighted to be skipper at last for Tri-Nations clash with Wales
23:02 GMT, 26 October 2012
Twenty-two years after first wearing a captain’s armband with Lancashire Under 10s, Kevin Sinfield achieves his biggest personal honour on Saturday when he leads out England for the Tri-Nations clash with Wales.
Despite being marked out during his teenage years as a future national captain it is only now, aged 32 and with Jamie Peacock retired from international rugby, that he gets his chance. But 10 years leading Leeds have steeled him; it is not an opportunity he is likely to waste.
Key man: Sinfield in action for England against Australia at Wembley last year
Sinfield said: ‘You have to be a leader of some sort just to be in this squad. Every player involved has got different leadership qualities. At 32 you think your time may have passed, but I’m really looking forward to it.
‘The last month with Leeds, then being made England captain, have been some of the most special moments of my career.
‘I love being involved with the England squad and love the morals and standards we’ve put in place.’
Sinfield’s courage, resilience and intelligence are key attributes, but it is his control and distribution that will be most needed against a Welsh side that lost in France last week.
The Oldham-born stand-off puts one name above all others when he considers his new role as national captain: Ellery Hanley.
Sinfield said: ‘He was the figurehead for British rugby and how he played and led teams left a big mark on me.’
TV: LIVE on BBC2 from 2.30pm.