Kevin Sinfield will join Leicester’s coaching staff for the 2021-22 season, it has been announced.

Saddleworth rugby league legend Sinfield, who has spent the past three years working as director of rugby at Leeds Rhinos, will take up the post of defence coach at the Gallagher Premiership side.

The 40-year-old won seven Super League titles and two Challenge Cups during an illustrious playing career with Leeds. He also spent one season in rugby union with Yorkshire Carnegie.

Sinfield, who was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to rugby league and fundraising, said: “I am really looking forward to this new opportunity in my career and the chance to work with Steve Borthwick, his coaching team and the playing group he is building at Leicester Tigers.

“It is a big challenge, but one that I know I am ready for and – after speaking with Steve – I am looking forward to joining the club at this stage on its journey and getting to work in Leicester.

“I am delighted to be able to join a huge club like Leicester Tigers with such a great history and supporter base.”

Sinfield will take up the role vacated by fellow Oldhamer Mike Ford, who left Welford Road earlier this week.

He feels it is now time to move in a different direction after admitting he did not enjoy the administrative elements of his Rhinos job.

Sinfield said: “This has been one of the hardest decisions of my career. It has been something I’ve agonised over. I probably started reflecting in December and it’s taken me a number of months.

“But (the job) has become very political, a lot of bureaucracy, a lot of red tape, and in and around that has been a difficult 18 months for everyone.

“It has very much changed my role to administration, and not enjoyable administration. It’s become a role where I get no job satisfaction from whatsoever.

“I understand a lot of people out there don’t get satisfaction from their job and I understand I am fortunate I get to choose, but I think it is the right thing for everybody.

“The club is in a stable position and will continue to grow and get better.”