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Rhinos chief executive hails Sinfield as 'inspirational leader'

Leeds Rhinos Chief Executive Gary Hetherington has paid tribute to departing skipper Kevin Sinfield and described him as an "inspirational leader".

Kevin Sinfield has agreed an 18-month contract with Yorkshire Carnegie Credit: Press Association

Sinfield has confirmed he that he leaving the Rhinos to join sister club Yorkshire Carnegie at the end of the season. It also means a shift from Rugby League to Rugby Union.

Hetherington says that he respects Sinfield's wishes to move and has revealed that the club has been planning for life without their influential skipper.

If any player in the history of our club deserves the right to choose when he moves on to the next stage of his career it is Kevin Sinfield. Kevin notified me of his decision six weeks ago and I alerted the new management of Yorkshire Carnegie of his availability and desire to play Rugby Union.

He has been an inspirational leader on and off the field for Leeds Rhinos over the last decade and I think there can be little argument that the success we have enjoyed would not have been possible without him.

– Gary Hetherington, Leeds Rhinos Chief Executive

Sinfield: Leaving Rhinos 'one of the toughest decisions of my career'

Kevin Sinfield says leaving Leeds Rhinos is 'one of the toughest decisions' of his career.

Credit: Press Association

The Rhinos skipper will leave the club at the end of the 2015 season to finish his career playing Rugby Union with sister club Yorkshire Carnegie.

The 34-year-old is on the brink of becoming only the fourth player in Leeds’ history to play 500 games for the club and is the all time leading goal and points scorer in the club’s history.

This was one of the toughest decisions of my career but I know the time is right for me to finish my time in Rugby League and embark on a new challenge with Yorkshire Carnegie. I never wanted to play against the Rhinos and throughout my career I have always had an admiration for Rugby Union and wanted to challenge myself in that code.

– Kevin Sinfield

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Peacock to hang up his boots for Hull KR management role

Former England and Great Britain rugby league captain Jamie Peacocck is to retire from playing at the end of the season to become Football Manager at Hull Kingston Rovers

Jamie Peacock has announced his retirment at end of season to become Hull KR football manager Credit: Press Association

The Leeds Rhinos prop confirmed his retirement from rugby league today after completing a tenth and final campaign with the Headingley club.

Peacock, who has won eight Super League Grand Finals as well as making over 500 appearances for Leeds, Bradford, Yorkshire, England and Great Britain, will then move to the KC Lightstream Stadium to take up his new challenge from next season.

“The Rhinos are a blueprint for a successful sporting business and the challenge for me now is to take those lessons and try and implement my own thoughts in a new environment.

“Hull KR are a club with huge potential within a city that is rugby league mad and having invested wisely in their facilities in recent years. I know a number of people over there already and I am looking forward to working with Chris Chester, Willie Poching, Mike Smith and Neil Hudgell in my new role.

“Whenever we have gone over there to play, it is clear Rovers have a fanatical supporter base. I think it is vital that you have a hard core of good people who want the club to succeed to be able to build and plan for development in the future.

“Now that I have the next chapter of my career finalised, I am fully focused on finishing my time with Leeds as strongly as possible and leaving my home town club in the best possible position.”

– Jamie Peacock MBE

A winner of multiple Grand Final, Challenge Cup and World Club Challenge matches throughout his career, Peacock is a former England and Great Britain captain who was crowned Man of Steel in 2003 and awarded his MBE three years ago for his services to the sport.

Hull KR chairman Neil Hudgell added: “We are delighted to have secured Jamie to the full-time position of Football Manager for the next two years.

“He is a proven champion at the highest level in our sport and we look forward to working with him, drawing on his experiences and contacts and generally raising the profile and performance of the club in key areas.

“I’m sure he will have a big role to play in helping to attract young English talent to Hull Kingston Rovers and in helping to develop a winning culture on and off the field.”

– Neil Hudgell, Hull KR chairman

“I think this is an inspired appointment by Hull KR and I know Jamie will be very good at what will be a very different challenge.

“He has been at the heart of all our success over the past decade and his performances and influence at the club cannot be overestimated.

" He will leave a lasting legacy and all our best wishes will be with him when he swaps his training kit for a new suit at the end of the season.”

– Gary Hetherington, Leeds Rhinos chief executive

Ryan Bailey leaves Hull KR 'due to personal reasons'

Hull KR have announced they have released former Leeds prop Ryan Bailey with immediate effect due to personal reasons.

Credit: Press Association

Bailey, 30, was one of 14 new signings made by the Robins ahead of the 2015 season but he made only one substitute appearance, in a 44-24 defeat at Wakefield in the second match of the campaign.

Rovers say Bailey was dogged by hamstring and Achilles injuries and that they reached an agreement with the player's representatives to release him to allow him "to focus on matters off the field".

I would like to thank Hull Kingston Rovers for the way they have conducted themselves during our discussions over the past few weeks. They have respected Ryan's right to privacy throughout this process and have offered him their full support. We couldn't have asked for any more during what has been a difficult time in Ryan's private life, but it's now best to move on for all parties.

– Chris Orr, Ryan Bailey's agent

Bailey joined the Robins as a direct replacement for Australian Justin Poore, who retired through injury at the end of last season.

Bailey had spent all his career at the Rhinos, with whom he won six Grand Finals, three World Club Challenge titles and the 2014 Challenge Cup in 14 seasons.

Briscoe sidelined for three months

Leeds' England international Tom Briscoe will be sidelined for around three months with a shoulder injury, coach Brian McDermott has confirmed.

The 25-year-old former Hull winger, who missed just two matches in his first season with the Rhinos in 2014, will undergo surgery on Saturday after scans revealed the full extent of an injury he has been carrying for a few weeks.

Handley, 19, made only his second Super League appearance and scored his first try in Leeds' 26-14 win over Wigan last Friday.

He keeps his spot for the trip to Perpignan to face Catalans Dragons on Saturday, while Liam Sutcliffe will continue to deputise for skipper Kevin Sinfield, who is still recovering from a hamstring injury.

There's a fair bit of damage in there. He's been good for us so we'll miss him but it gives an opportunity for Ash Handley to get some more game time.

– Brian McDermott

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McDermott defends decision to pick Hardaker

Brian McDermott has said the Leeds Rhinos will make an announcement about Zak Hardaker as an investigation into an assault he committed on a student in February continues.

Hardaker keeps his place for the trip to Perpignan to face Catalans Dragons on Saturday and McDermott has also defender his right to pick the 23-year-old.

Zak gets paid to do a job. I know there is a sentiment from people out there who say 'why is he still playing?' but to stand Zak down doesn't do him any good.

If a bricklayer makes an error at work, you don't give him time off. Why would we give Zak Hardaker the time off to live a decent lifestyle where he can do what he wants?

– Brian McDermott

Hardaker was dropped when the incident came to light earlier this month but recalled for the Wigan game after he was released by police without charge, paid compensation and issued an apology to his victim.

McDermott: We can cope without Sinfield

Leeds coach Brian McDermott is confident his side can overcome the loss of skipper Kevin Sinfield for Friday's Super League clash with Wigan at Headingley.

Kevin Sinfield is out with a hamstring problem Credit: Press Association

The former England skipper recently climbed up to fourth place in rugby league's all-time scoring list with 3,997 points and is second only to Paul Wellens (St Helens) with the most number of Super League appearances on 433.

Danny McGuire will skipper the Rhinos in Sinfield's absence and Liam Sutcliffe will take on the playmaking role as they look to bounce back from their first defeat of the season at Warrington last Friday.

Kev's got some hamstring/neurol issue so he's stood down for a week to let that recover.

He's a fantastic player for us and very influential so we will miss him but what we've got out there is good enough and Liam Sutcliffe certainly shows a lot of promise and has delivered in the past.

– Brian McDermott

McDermott will also give a second appearance to prop Andy Yates after ruling Kylie Leuluai out with bicep and rib injuries and will make a late decision on whether to recall full-back Zak Hardaker after he was left out a week ago.

McDermott: Hardaker affair won't be swept under the carpet

Leeds coach Brian McDermott insists the Rhinos will not sweep the Zak Hardaker affair "under the carpet".

Hardaker was involved in an assault in Leeds which was resolved by police Credit: Press Association

Hardaker and Leeds team-mate Elliot Minchella were on Monday released without charge after helping police with their investigation into an assault on a student in Leeds on February 3.

It emerged that the players were freed after agreeing to pay £200 compensation and issuing a written apology under a "community resolution".

However, McDermott told a media briefing at Headingley that the club were continuing with their own investigation and that they are taking the matter very seriously.

We're not trying to hide anything.

As soon as we were made aware of the pictures that were on the Yorkshire Evening Post website, we actually rang the police themselves. We were keen to make sure that he helped the police in everything they needed to do. He did that and now we conduct our own investigation.

We're not trying to get this done and dusted and close the door. What's happened is a big thing, a big thing for us and a big thing for the kid who was on the other end of it.

We made that phone call straight away and then phoned Zak. We don't view this as a bit of a blip, it's a big thing for us.

– Brian McDermott

Hardaker and Minchella released without charge

Zak Hardaker could be back playing for Leeds on Friday after the Rhinos revealed he has been released without charge by police.

The 23-year-old full-back was dropped by his club for last Thursday's Super League game at Warrington after it emerged that, along with team-mate Elliot Minchella, he was wanted in questioning over an alleged assault.

Leeds Rhinos can confirm that Zak Hardaker and Elliot Minchella have both fully co-operated with the police investigation into an incident in Leeds in February this year. Both players have been released without charge and the investigation is now concluded. The Rhinos will continue their internal investigation surrounding the incident however both players will be available for selection this week.

– Leeds Rhinos

West Yorkshire Police announced last week they were looking for two men in connection with the assault of a 22-year-old man in student flats in Leeds on February 3.

Police say the victim suffered two black eyes and bruising to his ears and neck.

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