Kevin Sinfield: Leeds Rhinos director of rugby says side had 'lost spirit'

Kevin Sinfield and James Lowes
Kevin Sinfield and coach James Lowes (right) were appointed successors to Brian McDermott on 6 July

Leeds Rhinos director of rugby Kevin Sinfield says he felt like the side had lost its "spirit".

Former Rhinos captain Sinfield took over at Headingley last week after Brian McDermott was sacked.

Last season's Grand Final winners have now lost eight successive Super League games and are ninth in the table.

"The team had lost some direction and values of what it takes to be a Leeds player and that's something I've worked on this week," he told BBC Radio Leeds.

"The players have been fantastic, they've been great. The sooner we get that win it will start to re-enforce the things we have to tweak over the last six days.

"I said last week we needed to start seeing some smiles on faces and there certainly wasn't any of that after Sunday (42-10 defeat by Castleford), but they've picked up and they look like they're enjoying themselves again.

"As soon as I came back in I noticed that the spirit had been lost. You need to be a special kind of person to work here. I'm sure some of it is down to confidence and we're ninth for a reason but we've got to bring that belief back."

The Rhinos, who host Wakefield on Friday, are three points behind Trinity with three games of the regular season to play.

Sinfield, who captained Leeds for 12 years, says he will rotate the captaincy between four players for the rest of the season.

"It's important for the development of the team over the next few years that we have a number of top leaders," he said.

"Stevie Ward has done a great job as captain but I think the role needs to be shared between a few of them. We're trying to develop from within and ensure it's not all on one bloke's head."

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