A 'gutted' Kyle Sinckler has reacted to missing out on Lions
England tighthead Kyle Sinckler has said he is “honestly gutted not to be involved” with the British and Irish Lions, but has said this is “not a time to feel sorry for myself and blame others”.
The Bristol Bears prop was one of the shock omissions from Warren Gatland’s 37-man Lions squad to take on the world champions South Africa this summer. The selectors opted for the Irish duo of Tadhg Furlong and Andrew Porter, and Scotland’s Zander Fagerson over the Englishman.
Furlong’s place in the squad was always secure, but many of the squads that had been predicted in the build-up to the announcement included the 44-cap England international alongside one of Porter or Fagerson.
Sinckler featured in all three Tests against the All Blacks for the Lions four years ago, coming off the bench to replace Furlong in every match of the drawn series. Since then he has only improved, and his power and distribution have been key facets to Eddie Jones’ England. Indeed, some believe England’s rather limp World Cup final against the Springboks was partly down to the tighthead coming off in the opening minutes of the match.
In the wake of the squad announcement, Sinckler took to social media to address his omission.
“Honestly gutted not to be involved,” the 28-year-old said on Instagram.
“Appreciate the messages of support. Not a time to feel sorry for myself and blame others. Let’s get behind the squad, wishing the boys all the best.
“It was one of the best life experiences to go on the tour in 2017- I’m so grateful I got the chance to experience that. Looking forward to watching the boys carve up. Go well.”
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England’s fifth place finish in the Guinness Six Nations may have hampered Sinckler’s case this year. Additionally, there were some initial teething problems with his move to Bristol from Harlequins last summer. Nevertheless, this was one of the calls that came as a surprise.
In the meantime, the prop still has a huge end to the season with Bristol, who currently sit at the top of the Gallagher Premiership with five rounds remaining.
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