Sinfield hails Smith
Kevin Sinfield believes success against St Helens would cement Tony Smith's place as Leeds' greatest coach.
By Phil Jackson
Last Updated: 12/10/07 11:06am
Kevin Sinfield believes success against St Helens on Saturday would cement Tony Smith's place as Leeds' greatest coach.
The Rhinos captain - who on Friday announced he has agreed a new four-year contract - will lead his side out in the Grand Final at Old Trafford in the final game of Smith's four-year reign.
Leeds won their first Grand Final under the Australian tactician against Bradford Bulls in 2004 before losing out to their West Yorkshire rivals the following year.
Having also taken the club to World Club Challenge success in 2005, Sinfield insists victory on Saturday would surmount the achievements of club greats like Syd Hynes and Joe Warham
Sinfield said: "He's up there by a long way as the best coach I've ever played for.
"I'm sure he'll go down as one of Leeds' great coaches and if we can win it on Saturday he'll be the greatest ever. No doubt.
"He's transformed the whole club, he's been fantastic. He's changed things from top to bottom. He's taken us from the nearly men to title winners in the first year and this will be his third Grand Final in four, so it's obvious the amount of success that he's brought to the club.
"It would be good to send him out on top."
Smith will take over as full-time Great Britain coach after quitting at Headingley and 27-year-old Sinfield hopes to continue to develop his game under the boss's tuition.
"For me personally he's brought my game on so much," added Sinfield. "Not just the rugby side, because he's brought me on as a person and I think everyone in the squad will tell you that.
"The way he cares for his players is different class. He's certainly going to be missed by everyone including me but hopefully I'll get the chance to play for him at international level."
As for his new deal, Sinfield added: "I am delighted to have agreed this new deal," he said.
"I have said for some time that I wanted to end my career here - and to have
secured my future at this club until I am 31 is a massive honour for me.
"I never dreamed when I first signed for the club when I was 13 that I would
be here so long.
"I am not a Yorkshireman but I am very much a 'Leeds lad' and I feel at home
here just as much as the many Leeds-born and bred players we have in our
See if Leeds can send Smith out on a high live on Sky Sports 1 from 5.30pm on Saturday.