Union switch for Sinfield

Date published: March 31 2015

Championship side Yorkshire Carnegie has announced the signing of rugby league and Leeds Rhinos legend Kevin Sinfield, who will join them in 2016.

Sinfield, who is an MBE, will leave the Rhinos at the end of 2015's season to finish his career playing rugby union on an eighteen-month contract.

The 34-year-old is on the brink of becoming only the fourth player in Leeds' history to play 500 games for the club and is the all time leading goal and points scorer in the club's history. He is currently fourth in the all time list of rugby league points scorers and has led the Rhinos to twelve titles in nineteen finals so far having been made captain in 2003 when he was just 22 years of age.

He has made 26 appearances for England, including captaining his country at the 2013 World Cup, and played a further fourteen games for Great Britain.

"This was one of the toughest decisions of my career but I know the time is right for me to finish my time in rugby league and embark on a new challenge with Yorkshire Carnegie," said Sinfield.

"I never wanted to play against the Rhinos and throughout my career I have always had an admiration for Rugby Union and wanted to challenge myself in that code. I am fortunate as a professional player in this era that opportunities like this exist for me and it is something I want to grab with both hands.

"Sir Ian McGeechan, the new board and owners of Yorkshire Carnegie have set out ambitious plans to gain promotion from the Championship next season and regain their place in the Premiership and that is something that excites me. It is a new challenge for me and I know I will have a lot to learn however we spend a lot of time with the Carnegie players at our training ground at Kirkstall so that will help me settle in.

"My entire adult life has been spent at Leeds Rhinos and I am extremely grateful for all the support I have had over the past two decades. My goal now is to do whatever I can to make sure we have further success this year and finish the season and my Rhinos career on the best possible note."

Yorkshire Carnegie Executive President Sir Ian McGeechan said: "I have admired Kevin Sinfield as both a player and an individual for many years. His professionalism, attitude and commitment are top class. I am sure he will be a great addition to our squad for next season and his goal kicking record speaks for itself. 

"The signing of Kevin Sinfield and the recent appointment of Bryan Redpath as Head Coach are clear indications of the ambition of our new management and owners. We look forward to having Kevin on board from November for our challenge to regain our place in the Premiership."