Leeds to use Rob Burrow as motivation for Super League success

James Gordon

New Leeds captain Stevie Ward says they will use Rob Burrow as motivation and inspiration for a climb up the Super League table in 2020.

The Rhinos played out an emotionally charged and poignant match against Bradford at Headingley for Jamie Jones-Buchanan’s testimonial which acted as a joint-fundraising for the former back-rower and Burrow, who was recently diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.

Ward won the Super League title alongside both Burrow and Jones-Buchanan, and he is now charged with leading Leeds in to a new era as they seek to leave behind the troubles that saw them almost relegated in 2019.

He said: “There’s a lot of meaning to it this year.

“We’ve done a lot of good training and we’ve had an emotional pre-season camp, done some really good stuff on the field and then had the JJB testimonial and Rob Burrow fund raiser.

“So we’re coming off the back of quite a unique and significant example of what rugby league can mean to people, and what those guys before us mean to people.

“We’re in a good place and a lot of hard work has to come off the back of that.

“It’s a source of motivation, definitely individually and personally for me, as Rob has been one of my really good mates at the club.

“I’ve been part of the team that’s done well before us, I’ve been in the cross over period, and it’s inspired me to be part of something good.”



Ward was limited to just six appearances last term, though did appear in the games against Salford and Warrington in September.

He was appointed captain by coach Richard Agar following the hasty departure of Trent Merrin back to the NRL.

Ward added: “To be fair, it’s something I naturally just started taking on whether it was on or off the field last season.

“The label of captaincy just adds to it, my role in the team and what I can offer is most important.

“I think we’ve come to a point now where we want to be successful again.”

Leeds open their season with the visit of Hull to Emerald Headingley on Sunday, which forms part of a double header with Toronto Wolfpack’s Super League debut against Castleford.