KEVIN Sinfield will succeed Jamie Peacock as England’s new captain.
Sinfield, who captained Leeds Rhinos to their sixth Super League crown last Saturday defeating Warrington Wolves at Old Trafford, said captaining his country would be the proudest moment of his career.
“I am immensely honoured to captain England Rugby League. Representing your country is always special, but to captain England will be the proudest moment of my career to date,” said Sinfield.
“There could have been a number of candidates for the job, when you look at the number of leaders we have in the squad, but Steve McNamara has asked me take up the role and I will do it to the best of my ability.
“When you look at the talent we have in the squad, we are in great shape. We have a big 12 months ahead with the Rugby League World Cup at the end of it and we have to give ourselves every chance of creating history. Steve McNamara is leaving nothing to chance and our preparation continues to be planned in fine detail and I will relish being part of that process.”
Sinfield’s appointment was announced to the England senior squad during their first night on African soil as they start a 10-day high-altitude training camp in Potchefstroom ahead of this year’s Autumn International Series against France and Wales and England coach McNamara believes he has the ultimate leader to take England into 2013.
“Kevin (Sinfield) is an outstanding leader and was my number one choice when selecting a successor to Jamie Peacock,” added McNamara
“The standards he sets both on and off the field are exemplary. He commands the ultimate respect from his fellow professionals and will take this group of players forward in what promises to be a demanding yet rewarding year for England Rugby League.”
England’s opening match in the Autumn International Series will see them face Wales at the Glyndwr University Racecourse Ground in Wrexham on Saturday October 27 (2.30pm).
Their first ‘home’ fixture takes place a week later, Saturday November 3, at MS3 Craven Park in Hull when England host France in a match which also kicks off at 2.30pm.
The Autumn International Series concludes with the final at Salford City Stadium on Sunday November 11 (5.00pm).
Tickets for the 2012 Autumn International Series cost just £12 for adults and £6 concessions and can be purchased by calling the RFL Ticket Office on 0844 856 1113 or by visiting www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk