Rob Burrow’s last game for the Rhinos was in 2017.
That night he and Danny McGuire inspired Leeds to an eighth Super League title in fourteen seasons as the Rhinos enjoyed an unprecedented period of dominance that seemed to defy the odds in a salary capped sport.
Most people expected there to be a dip but if you’d have told Gary Hetherington in 2017 that in five years time they’d still be waiting for Super League title number nine and be 10th in the league after four years of rebuilding, he’d have been surprised.
In the years since Burrow featured in Leeds’ last Super League hoorah, St Helens have overtaken them as the competition’s most successful side and now the Rhinos seem miles behind the Champions at this moment in time.
This has led to coach Richard Agar stepping down despite leading the club to a Challenge Cup in 2020 which at the time felt like a huge step forward for the Rhinos. Now on the precipice of another new era with a new coach set to take over, Burrow has sent a message of support to his former club and his former teammate Jamie Jones-Buchanan who has taken over as interim boss following Agar’s decision.
Like Burrow, Buchanan was a member of the golden generation and played in that 2017 title win. He also shared his testimonial with Burrow in 2020 to raise funds to support Burrow following his motor neurone disease diagnosis in December 2019.
Great friends, Burrow has backed Buchanan to boost the Rhinos ahead of their Challenge Cup clash with Castleford today believing he will bring back a “missing” element to the Rhinos.
Burrow took to Twitter to say: “I just want to wish JJB and the Leeds Rhinos all the best today for the game. I couldn’t think of a more passionate clubman than Jones. I think that has been missing of late, the love for the club and JJB will bring that back.”
I just want to wish jjb and the @Leedsrhinos all the best today for the game. I couldn't think of a more passionate clubman than Jones. I think that has been missing of late, the love for the club and jjb will bring that back.
— Rob Burrow MBE (@Rob7Burrow) March 26, 2022
So, can Buchanan rekindle the optimism around Headingley which certainly existed heading into 2022 prior to Leeds’ next appointment?