Former Leeds and England forward Jamie Jones-Buchanan has been awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours list.
Jones-Buchanan, 40, spent 20 years playing for his hometown club before retiring in 2019.
He has been recognised for his services to rugby league and the community.
Former team-mates Kevin Sinfield, Rob Burrow and Jamie Peacock have previously been honoured with MBEs, while Sinfield also has an OBE.
He said: “I don’t know what the stats are but I’m guessing that’s an overrepresentation of how many people in rugby league get recognised. I think that serves to underline and emphasise that band of brothers, which is why we were so successful.
“There was always a benevolence, an altruism, a selflessness about that group and that’s the message I’m trying to articulate to the next generation of players.”
Jones-Buchanan won seven Super League titles, a Challenge Cup and three World Club Challenges with the Rhinos.
He added: “I’m just a reflection of the people I’ve been fortunate enough to be surrounded by. Namely Kevin Sinfield, Jamie Peacock, Rob Burrow and Danny McGuire. A very special cohort of players who were successful on the pitch but in many ways more successful off it.
“That group is shining more brightly now than it did on the field which is testament to the culture and camaraderie we had as a group of men.
A massive honour
Jones-Buchanan added: “It’s a massive honour, I’m really proud.
“When fellas from Bramley get letters with HMRC on it’s not usually good news. I opened it thinking it might be from the tax man. But when I realised what it was, I was blown away massively.
“Getting that letter was a really nice end to what has been a special chapter in my life and some encouragement for the future. The fact that it transcends sport as well makes it a bit more special.
“That day I was really fuzzy and warm and I have been ever since. I’m just a local kid who was fortunate to play rugby and have some great experiences.”
A former Stanningley junior, Jamie Jones-Buchanan is now on the coaching staff at Leeds.