Sinckler glad of England recall as Jones says he can be world's best

Julian Guyer
·2-min read
On the attack - England prop Kyle Sinckler (R) returned to Test duty against Italy

Kyle Sinckler was just grateful to be back playing for England as coach Eddie Jones suggested he could be the world's best tighthead prop following Saturday's man-of-the-match display against Italy.

The Bristol Bears front rower made his first appearance of this year's Six Nations in the 41-18 victory at Twickenham, having missed the champions' opening loss at home to Scotland the week before through a suspension for swearing at a referee.

Sinckler, accepted responsibility for his actions when consulting 'Saviour World', a life-coaching programme for men.

"Obviously there was massive frustration at the time, but once I broke it down and was speaking to my mentor at Saviour World I had to take full responsibility for my actions," Sinckler said.

"The easiest thing I could have done is blame externally and look for excuses. But I hold my hands up, I understand where I went wrong.

"I came to the understanding of how much of an inspiration you are to the younger generation and how much they do look up to you. You just have to be very, very careful."

The 27-year-old British and Irish Lions international added: "I just loved being out there against Italy. I truly love the game. Hopefully people saw how much it means to me just to play rugby.

"I still think I have a lot more growth. I'm nowhere near the player I want to be and there's a lot of hard work to be done."

England continue their Six Nations title defence away to Wales on February 27, with the fiery Sinckler having lost his temper in Cardiff two years ago following persistent provocation by the home side.

Sinckler, labelled an "emotional time-bomb" in the build-up to that match by then Wales coach Warren Gatland, said his actions had cost England a Grand Slam.

- 'Jungle tiger' -

But Jones believes he is now maturing as a player, although he accepts Sinckler still has something of a raw edge about him.

"There always is a worry," said Jones. "He's still a jungle tiger and jungle tigers can always go.

"In the most he behaves like a zoo tiger but still with the fight of a jungle tiger, so we just have to keep managing that."

The veteran Australian coach added: "I just see him maturing massively as a rugby player. He was a hot-headed individual type with a lot of potential and now what we're seeing is a maturing, professional, committed player who is producing performances consistently.

"If you look at the way he played for us in the autumn and now the first game back in the Six Nations, he's going to be close to being the best tighthead in the world and that's his target, that's where we want him to get."