Kevin Sinfield will step down from his position as head of the England Performance Unit with immediate effect.
The 39-year-old, who spearheaded the creation of the Performance Unit in his role as the RFL’s rugby director, will now stand down to allow the governing body to follow a new direction following the announcement of Shaun Wane as the nation’s new head coach, replacing Wayne Bennett.
Sinfield will now focus solely on his role as director of rugby at Super League club Leeds.
He commented: “I would like to thank all the staff and players who have worked so hard on all the six England programmes during my time at the RFL.
“Our aim was to put the national teams at the pinnacle of our sport in terms of preparation and development, which I believe we have gone a long way towards achieving.
“I would particularly like to pay tribute to Wayne Bennett as England head coach. Wayne has always shown nothing but complete commitment to the England cause during his time in charge of the national team and the wealth of knowledge he has given to our players and coaches will enhance the game in this country for many years to come.
“His passion for this group of players to succeed in a home World Cup was evident every time I spoke to him about his players and I know it will be a disappointment that he cannot complete that journey with them. I am certain, like me, he will wish the team every success in the future as they look to fulfil their undoubted potential.”
RFL chief executive, Ralph Rimmer, added: “We’re obviously very sad about Kevin’s decision to step down from his role at the RFL and the England Performance Unit.
“We did try to convince him to stay but he has made his decision, and every one of us at the RFL wish him the best in what we’re sure will be a hugely successful future.”