Super League: Rob Burrow to make his 400th Leeds Rhinos appearance on Thursday
By James Pearson (@SportsPeo). Last Updated: 16/04/14 7:07pm
The milestones keep coming in rugby league. Last week Paul Wellens became Super League’s all-time leading appearance maker, while Jamie Peacock played his 500th game in the sport.
On Thursday, Leeds Rhinos scrum-half Rob Burrow will become the 12th player in the club’s 119-year history to make 400 appearances for the Headingley side.
Leeds kick-off their Easter weekend programme by making the short trip to rivals Bradford Bulls with Burrow set to feature and join an elite club.
Players who have made 400 appearances or more for Leeds
Rob Burrow (on Thursday)
Only captain Kevin Sinfield is ahead of Burrow in the appearance stakes in the current playing squad, with his England colleague having appeared 472 times for the West Yorkshire side.
Burrow has been a regular for Leeds since making his debut in 2001. The diminutive playmaker emerged off the bench in a defeat to Hull FC, a result that signalled the departure of coach Dean Lance and arrival of Daryl Powell.
Thankfully for Burrow and Leeds losing did not become a habit. In 2004 Leeds ended their 32-year wait to be crowned champions following a 16-8 success over the Bulls.
Burrow was a substitute that day in Manchester and he also emerged off the bench in 2005 when Leeds claimed a 39-32 success against Canterbury Bulldogs in the World Club Challenge at Elland Road.
Although Challenge Cup success has eluded Burrow, they have made Old Trafford their second home with further Grand Final triumphs in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012.
The 2007 and 2011 finals were especially memorable to Burrow as he claimed the Harry Sunderland trophy for man-of-the-match in both.
Burrow slotted over a drop-goal in 2007 as Leeds stunned Saints 33-6 with an against-the-odds performance. St Helens had finished with the League Leaders’ Shield that year, including a 10-8 win over Leeds in the qualifying semi-final.
Four years later Burrow was at it again, scoring a sensational first-half try from the half-way line against Saints before a superb break down the left in the second helped set up a score for Ryan Hall as Leeds ran out 32-16 victors.
Present day and Burrow remains a mainstay in Brian McDermott’s club. The 31-year-old predominantly operates at hooker these days with Danny McGuire and Kevin Sinfield in the halves while rising star Liam Sutcliffe also provides McDermott with another option.
“400 gone I’d never have thought that. It’s a dream to play for Leeds,” he told Sky Sports News Radio. “The fact that I’ve been able to stay at the club I love and play with the team-mates I’ve grown up with has been extra special.
“As I feel right now I feel really, really good. Really healthy and I still feel sharp which is what my game is all about. If I didn’t feel sharp I’d call it a day. I’ve always had 35 at least in my head a few more years after this.”