With the 2015 edition of Super League coming to a close at the weekend, fans will begin to look forward to next season. However, two of the most successful players to have played in the Super League will not be participating next season, with Jamie Peacock and Kevin Sinfield both leaving Leeds after winning the treble in their final season.
Sinfield, who recently turned 35, will switch codes and join Yorkshire Carnegie in the Rugby Union Championship. Yorkshire are currently top of the league and Sinfield’s experience and kicking ability will only serve to make them a better side as they look to earn promotion to the Premiership.
Sinfield had been at Leeds Rhinos since 1997 and played over 500 times for the club, scoring 3,967 points. Although he scored over 80 tries for Leeds, it will be his kicking ability which will be remembered by the Leeds faithful.
The Manchester born Stand-off won seven Super League titles with Leeds, as well as three League Leader’s Shields, three Club World Championship and two Challenge Cups. While his ability on the field will be missed, he will also be a big loss in the dressing room and Leeds may find winning harder to come by without their influential captain.
Jamie Peacock will be another Super League regular who will not be seen in 2016. Unlike Sinfield, Peacock is not a one club man, having previously represented both Featherstone and Bradford.
Peacock made four appearances for Featherstone before joining Bradford in 1999. He played 207 times for Bradford, scoring 168 points. He won ten trophies with the Bulls, including three Super League titles and two Challenge Cups.
Despite his success with the club, Peacock moved to Leeds for the 2006 season and played 272 times for them, scoring 104 points in the process. Peacock continued to win trophies, winning another six Super League titles, two Challenge Cups, two League Leader’s Shields and two World Club Challenges. This took his total number of career trophies to 22. The 37-year-old will go down as one of the most decorated players to play Rugby League.
While Sinfield will continue his career in Rugby Union, Peacock has hung up his boots for good and will now embark on a coaching role with Hull KR.
Both Peacock and Sinfield have been made MBE’s and have enjoyed illustrious international careers, with Sinfield playing 41 times for England and Great Britiain, while Peacock represented his country 47 times.
While Peacock and Sinfield have been a big part of rugby league since the turn of the century, another player who has spent less time in Super League has also bowed out. Kylie Leuluai will also be leaving Leeds having joined the club back in 2008. Leuluai played over 250 games for the Rhinos and won twelve trophies with Leeds, including six Super League titles.
While Leeds fans will be thrilled with their recent treble winning season, it will also be tinged with sadness that three great servants of the club will be moving on. Despite the departures, the future looks bright at Leeds with several promising young players coming through and the foundations are in place for another impressive season, although winning trophies will be all the more difficult without the expertise of the three stalwarts who will be moving on.