Bristol boss Pat Lam has reported that suspended England tighthead Kyle Sinckler has been full of enthusiasm during training at the Gallagher Premiership club while serving the ban recently sustained for aggressively swearing at a referee.
Sinckler was cited earlier this month for shouting “Are you f***ing serious?” at referee Karl Dickson during Bristol’s Premiership win at defending champions Exeter.
Evidence presented by Sinckler at the RFU hearing revealed that the England prop felt he was the victim of a potential leg-breaking tackle from Luke Cowan-Dickie, adding that Exeter players were laughing at him and telling him to stop being a pussy followed his heated reaction during the January 9 league game at Sandy Park.
The outcome of the hearing was an ill-timed two-game ban for Sinckler. If this month’s European games had gone ahead as planned, the 27-year-old would have by now served his suspension and would be clear to join up with the England squad who assembled on Wednesday at St George’s Park in Burton.
However, those club cancellations mean that Sinckler has yet to miss a match – he will sit out Bristol’s Friday night league game with Bath and will also be marked absent for England when they open their Six Nations campaign against Scotland on February 6.
"He thought the tackle potentially could have broken his leg… his whole career flashed in front of him"
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) January 20, 2021
Missing out will be huge for Sinckler who has become an integral part of the English Test team in recent years, featuring in 32 of their last 33 matches and making 26 starts. The ban was a subject England boss Eddie Jones steered clear of at last week’s squad announcement. However, Sinckler’s club coach Lam has said he hasn’t had to gee his player up to help him get through this enforced layoff.
“I didn’t have to give him any message,” said Lam at his weekly media briefing when asked by RugbyPass how Sinckler was coping with his suspension. “Kyle has been great, he has been working away on being ready for selection again.
“He has been training hard with the group. He has been a great team man. I’ll tell you what, I found it interesting when he was away (in October/November with England) and I saw that article when he talked about he was only really at 20 per cent for Bristol.
“I was wow, 20 per cent because he was pretty good, but now since he came back after the autumn internationals I can understand. He has gone on to another level. And not only in his playing but in his contribution around the group.
“Today we came off our team run and he was one of the most vocal, driving the standard of the 23 to ensure the team plays well. And he has connected so well with so many guys, he has been phenomenal and we have really enjoyed having him here.”
Lam added how he was an admirer of Sinckler and the player’s ability to overcome adversity long before he arrived at Ashton Gate last summer following his signing from Harlequins.
“The thing I have admired about Kyle, even from a distance, you read about guy’s stories and backgrounds and the work that he does and the community he came from as well to inspire these young guys, it doesn’t matter what situation.
“And that is the thing: we have a lot of guys in this group and I keep saying it, we are a little example of the way the world can be. We have got guys from all over the world, 18-year-olds up to 38-year-olds, not including all the staff.
“Then you have got people from private school backgrounds to public to state schools. We have got people from poor backgrounds to rich. At the end of the day we respect each other, we build relationships and it’s awesome to see.
“I say to the guys it’s no different from the world that you live in. It’s fortunate that we have that and that is why the guys (like Sinckler) enjoy being here.”
Off-limits and out of bounds. https://t.co/0irkI8Hfvb
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) January 23, 2021
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