sport

Sinfield not quitting England

England captain Kevin Sinfield says he has no intentions of retiring from the international game.

The 33-year-old Leeds Rhinos stand-off fended off questions about his future in the wake of last November's crushing World Cup semi-final defeat to New Zealand.

Speaking for the first time since the 20-18 defeat at Wembley, Sinfield stated his desire to carry on representing his country and voiced his desire to lead the side during this year's Four Nations Series.

"I got asked the question about whether I'd retire within minutes of coming out of the dressing room (at Wembley in November) and at that minute I didn't want to talk about rugby," said Sinfield.

"It was an easy way to answer it but, if Steve (coach McNamara) feels I can do a job, I'm certainly available. To represent your country is the highest honour you can achieve."

McNamara has been reappointed as national head coach for 2014 and Sinfield feels the former Bradford boss is the right man to take England forward.

"I think it was important he kept the job," said Sinfield. "I thought he did a fantastic job over the last three years.

"We had quite a big turnaround of senior players in that time and I think there is a new group of leaders emerging in that team."

Incidents

England's World Cup campaign was marred by controversy as their training camp was continually disrupted by alcohol-fuelled breaches of team discipline by squad members.

Gareth Hock was dismissed before the tournament got under way while Rangi Chase, Michael McIlorum and Zak Hardaker also left the camp but Sinfield says the disruptions served to bring the rest of the squad closer together.

"It was certainly challenging but very enjoyable as well," he said. "As a captain, I got more out of that six weeks than I've done in the last 10 years at Leeds.

"When you have a chance to represent your country, you've got to give up six or eight weeks of your life, living, training and behaving a certain way.

"Unfortunately some people fell a little bit short of that. You can't afford to have that at that level. It hurts the group too much.

"I think we grew strength from it as well. We got some unity from it. It certainly didn't rip the camp wide open, if anything it brought us closer together.

"I'll put on record that 95 per cent of everybody involved in that camp was absolutely brilliant and shared something that has never been shared before at international level in the 13 years I've been a part of it.

"Something was built there that hopefully, if it is harnessed, could lead to some special times not too far ahead."