Rob Burrow: Leeds Rhinos legend to be Challenge Cup final chief guest 'in absentia'

BBC Breakfast has followed Rob Burrow and his family since he was was diagnosed with motor neurone disease

Leeds legend Rob Burrow has been named as chief guest "in absentia" for Saturday's Challenge Cup final between the Rhinos and Salford at Wembley.

Burrow announced in December 2019 that he had been diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND).

The 38-year-old won the Challenge Cup twice as a Leeds player, scoring a try in their 2015 win over Hull KR.

Last week he turned down an invitation to attend the final, which will be played behind closed doors, in person.

But Rugby Football League chairman Simon Johnson said Burrow remains "central to the day and in all our hearts as he and the rest of the rugby league community this year watch the final from home".

Johnson added: "Rob represents the best of the sport. An inspirational player, a dedicated father, husband and son, and now an inspiration as a campaigner, Rob is beloved by everyone in rugby league and by many, many friends of our sport.

"For this highly unusual Challenge Cup final - with no supporters in the ground, and no traditional presentation of the trophy - we are delighted that he accepted our invitation to be chief guest in absentia."

Rob Burrow
Rob Burrow scored a try in Leeds' 50-0 win over Hull KR in the 2015 final