Kevin Sinfield to fly from New Zealand for Rob Burrow funeral and will miss England match

Kevin Sinfield and Rob Burrow Alamy

Kevin Sinfield (left) with Rob Burrow (right)

Kevin Sinfield will take on a 48-hour round the world trip and miss England’s first rugby union Test match in New Zealand next week to attend the funeral of close friend Rob Burrow.

Leeds Rhinos have confirmed that Burrow’s funeral will take place on Sunday July 7: the day on which the club have celebrated Rob Burrow Day for a number of years. Plans have been confirmed for a private service, but members of the public have been encouraged to line the route and pay their respects to Burrow.

Sinfield is currently in New Zealand with England but has been granted compassionate leave to be back in the country in time for the funeral.

He told reporters in New Zealand: “I’ll fly back on Friday, which unfortunately means I’ll miss the Test. I’ll be home for two days, then I’ll be back out here getting ready for the second Test. Steve (Borthwick, the England coach) has been wonderfully supportive of that; he completely understands. I couldn’t have asked for any more.”

Sinfield revealed how he saw Burrow before he passed away earlier this month, and admits that going away on tour with England has come at an ideal time, and allowed him some opportunity to reflect on the events of the past few weeks.

“It’s been really good to get away and have some time to reflect,” he said. “Rob would want me to be here and be part of this. The lads have been fantastic – they’ve shown compassion and care for me that won’t go unnoticed. Steve and the management team have been wonderful, too.

“Apart from being at home with family, this is probably the best place for me to be. I’m busy and I’ve got some really strong friendships within the management and with players. That’s been really helpful.”

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