STATEMENT: Kevin Sinfield confirms he will miss England's All Blacks clash - Ruck

STATEMENT: Kevin Sinfield confirms he will miss England’s All Blacks clash

Kevin Sinfield will miss England’s first Test against New Zealand in Dunedin next Saturday to attend the funeral of his close friend and former teammate, Rob Burrow.

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Sinfield is currently in Auckland with the England squad as a skills coach, preparing for the two Tests against the All Blacks on July 6 and 13.

However, he will not travel with the team to Dunedin next Thursday. Instead, he will fly home to pay his respects to Burrow, the former rugby league star who tragically passed away from motor neurone disease (MND) on June 2 at the age of 41.

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.”

In a statement posted on X by Leeds Rhinos following Burrow’s death, Sinfield said: “Today was the day that I hoped would never come.

“You fought so bravely until the end and became a beacon of hope and inspiration, not only for the MND community but for all those who saw and heard your story.”

He continued in his tribute to Burrow: “I would always say that you were pound for pound the toughest player I ever played alongside, however since your diagnosis, you were the toughest and bravest man I have ever met.

“I will miss you my little mate.”

Louis Rees-Zammit’s dating history includes Premier League legends daughter and famous YouTuber

Six months have passed since Louis Rees-Zammit swapped the rugby pitch for the gridiron, chasing his NFL dream with the Kansas City Chiefs. The journey has been nothing short of exhilarating for the Welsh sensation.

After an intensive 10-week training program, Rees-Zammit signed with the Chiefs and is now eyeing a spot on the final 53-man roster. His rise in the sporting world has been meteoric, capturing the attention of fans and media alike.

But it’s not just his professional life making headlines. Rees-Zammit’s personal life has also been a hot topic, featuring relationships with high-profile personalities, from a Premier League legend’s daughter to a famous YouTuber and a notable model/DJ.

Alicia Scholes

In December 2019, before his international debut for Wales, Rees-Zammit posted a photo of himself playing for Gloucester. Alicia Scholes, daughter of football legend Paul Scholes, humorously suggested an England debut was imminent, despite Rees-Zammit’s Welsh roots. He firmly replied, “Wales*”.

In a BBC interview, Rees-Zammit spoke about his past relationship with Alicia, a professional netball player for London Pulse. He revealed the light-hearted attempts by her father to sway him towards England, which he steadfastly resisted.

Alicia and her father Paul found themselves in the spotlight in 2021 due to a viral video that led to playful banter among rival supporters.