FORMER TEAM-MATE Gareth Ellis will be trying to ruin the swansong of two “legends of the game” this afternoon.
Danny McGuire and Rob Burrow are both in their final season with Leeds Rhinos and have set their sights on another Wembley appearance before they bow out.
They have to get past Hull in tomorrow’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-final first and Ellis – who lifted the trophy last year – is determined that won’t happen.
But he admits he has nothing but admiration for the duo he played alongside in the 2005 Cup final, when Leeds lost to Hull at Cardiff.
“I saw some highlights of Rob and Danny’s careers and their highlights weren’t just in league games, they were in Grand Finals and Cup games,” Ellis said.
“They are legends of this era. They will be remembered forever and the real credit to them is how they’ve adapted their game.
“They play in key positions that can have a short lifespan if you’re not prepared to adapt your game.
“I saw Danny play the other week and he absolutely controlled the game, which is not what he was known for – he was known as a support player.
“That’s what’s impressive for me about both of those players.”
Ellis said he admires McGuire for having the ambition to switch to a new club, Hull KR, for the final years of his career and understands why Burrow is hanging up his boots while still at the top of his game.
“He is so robust; for a little lad who has taken a few whacks he is very rarely injured,” Ellis said of the Leeds No 7.
“I am a little bit surprised – I don’t know if he has always been happy with the role he has played coming off the bench, but he is good at it and I could see him doing that for another two or three years.”