Cometh the hour, cometh the man

A few years ago I watched a young Kyle Sinckler pull on an England shirt for the first time against the Baa-Baas at Twickenham. At the time I was hearing whispers about the potential of this young player from Quins who had the potential to be the rock the England scrum would be built around. England unfortunately lost the match against the Baa-Baa’s 39-29, and I came away thinking what the fuss had been about. He looked solid in the scrum, but he simply didn’t rev up his engine and move around the field. He was poor in the rucks and his free attacking runs with the ball weren’t to be seen. Had he been over hyped I thought?

Fast forward a few years and I had the chance with my son to watch Quins train. Once again I wanted to see if Sinckler was a powerhouse during training and maybe the it just wasn’t showing in the matches. I watched the likes of Robshaw and Care go through their paces, meet the fans and put in some serious energy into the session, however Sinckler barely stretched a muscle. The coach asked the players to run across the pitch, lifting their knees at various intervals. It looked like Sinckler would of preferred time on his Xbox, hardly lifted a leg and came in last in a run. He had put in 10% effort into a run which resembled more like a walk across the pitch. He looked demotivated and sluggish.  He looked too bulky to be fully mobile, more interested in the aesthetics of his look than throwing his body into the ruck and maybe this player wasn’t going to live up to the reputation others had given him…then something changed.

Over the last few seasons I’ve seen Sinckler grow and developed into the player people had whispered about online or chatted with enthusiasm over the bar in clubs across the country. A prop with the silky hands of back, the bulk to take on any international prop whilst being a billy whizz with the ball in free play. He has now come of age.

“I love the game and want to enjoy every moment. Blink and it’s over. You have to relish every training session, game and experience with the boys.  Before you know it, it’s gone.” Kyle Sinckler 2018

Whether its late maturity or good coaching at Quins or with England, Sinckler is now becoming quite rightly a name every international manager is looking out for when they read an England team sheet. He’s worked on a number of areas in his game and has benefited I believe from mentoring from Eddie Jones, who is famous for getting itno players heads and working out what makes them tick. His scrummage is now rock solid, in rucks and mauls he’s now playing an active part and his free running with ball and handling skills are sublime. Even his temperament, which has been questioned at times and seen the colour red or yellow, now seems to be under control. Sometimes I still feel he could add an extra 10% when all seems lost, maybe the head goes down…however that’s rare to see now.

England recently filmed Sinckler for their YouTube channel, which if you have 2 minutes to spare is well worth watching….get to know this player, where he’s from and what drives him, as maybe, just maybe, he could be helping England win the RWC in Japan next year!