Sinfield home at last
Leeds captain finally feels he belongs on the international stage
Last Updated: 08/11/11 4:41pm
Sinfield: Rejuvenated by Leeds' Grand Final win
Kevin Sinfield admits he finally feels at home in an England shirt following a nomadic international career.
The Leeds captain made his debut at the highest level 11 years ago but for many years struggled to transfer his club form to internationals.
"I really enjoyed 2009. I know I went to hooker after the first game but I felt like I was actually wanted here for the first time.
Kevin Sinfield Quotes of the week
However, since being selected as starting hooker for the 2009 Four Nations Sinfield has come of age, despite switching to stand-off for the Rhinos this year.
"Up until 2009, it was a massive frustration," he says of his international career. "I've been in and out, swapping positions and I've certainly not produced my best stuff.
"But I really enjoyed 2009. I know I went to hooker after the first game but I felt like I was actually wanted here for the first time.
"I was asked to provide some of the things I bring to the team, like getting us around the field, and it brought the best out of me."
Sinfield is set to play his 40th match of the year against the Kiwis on Saturday but says he was rejuvenated by the Rhinos' late-season flourish and insists he is not yet ready for the season to end.
"I never count my chickens and certainly throughout this year when we were having those tough times with Leeds, England didn't really enter my head," he added.
"It was a case of trying to get things on track. As is always the case, if you get your form right for your club, you get the international call and I'm really happy to be here."
Sinfield has formed a half-back partnership with new-boy Rangi Chase during this season's Four Nations and it is working well so far.
"People keep telling me I'm too slow but I think the qualities I bring to the team aren't particularly pace anyway," he said. "Rangi and Sam (Tomkins) can complement what I bring."