Wigan have been described by Leeds coach Richard Agar as a “class act” after dedicating Sunday’s Super League match to Rob Burrow.
The Warriors players will wear special shirts embroidered with words that describe Burrow which will be auctioned off to raise funds for the former Leeds and Great Britain player, who was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in December.
“I think it’s a class act,” Agar said at his weekly press conference to preview the game at the Totally Wicked Stadium. “Kris Radlinksi and the Wigan club deserve a lot of praise.
“When we went there for Liam Farrell’s testimonial at the start of the year, they had a tribute to Rob on their warm-up T-shirts and I think it’s magnificent what they are doing.
“It’s another great reminder of the status Rob has within the game and also the class that exists within our sport when things get tough.”
Wigan coach Adrian Lam says the idea for the tribute came from chairman Ian Lenagan and former Great Britain full-back Radlinski, the club’s executive director, and was supported wholeheartedly by the players.
“He’s a legend of our sport,” Lam said at his weekly press conference. “We wanted to acknowledge on our part the importance that he’s played in our sport and as a competitor against our great club.
“The players are passionate about it and have got right behind it.
“I played against Rob in my last year. I remember being in the middle of the field and him running around me like if I wasn’t even there. I think it was around that time I realised I needed to hang the boots up.
“Being a small player myself in the rugby league world coming through, it’s not ideal for a small one to be successful because there’s not much opportunity there.
“With his stature and size, he certainly reinvented the game going to nine, just with his speed and his ability to change games.
“I have nothing but respect for him.”
Wigan skipper Sean O’Loughlin will miss Sunday’s game through injury but has had the word “inspirational” embroidered on his jersey.
“To have that symbol embroidered on the shirt is pretty special and I think the boys will wear the shirt with pride,” said O’Loughlin. “It’s nice of the club to acknowledge what Rob and his family are going through.
“Rob’s a pretty special character in the sport – whether you know him or not – he’s small in stature but big in personality and was always big in performances throughout his career.
“He’s a symbolic figure in the Super League era and for the boys to get a word on the shirt that they see Rob as is a nice touch and a good way to show our support.”