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The Kyle Sinckler anecdote that may change how you view England's so-called 'timebomb'

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Kyle Sinckler at Pennyhill

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Italy head coach Conor O’Shea is backing Kyle Sinckler to become a legend of the English game.


Sinckler has been a force of nature so far in the Guinness Six Nations despite ongoing concerns over a short fuse that has been evident in flashes, most notably in the defeat to Wales in Cardiff.

O’Shea oversaw the 25-year-old prop’s early development as Harlequins director of rugby and from the start of the Eddie Jones reign he was urging the Australian to select a unique talent.

“Eddie came to Quins in the first week he was in the job and asked ‘is there anyone we are missing?’ I said, ‘Sink’,” O’Shea revealed ahead of Saturday’s showdown at Twickenham.

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“He is explosive, he has got the lot. For all the players we had at Quins – Chris Robshaw, Mike Brown etc – I said ‘Eddie, the man is Sink’.


“Sink wasn’t starting every week and he was frustrated with me. He was someone I shared a lot of one on ones with at Quins.

“The kid is special. At the age of 16 we put him on the bench to go to Toulouse in the Champions Cup.

“England are bloody lucky to have him and he’s going to become a pretty big legend in this game.”

Sinckler was described as an “emotional timebomb” by Wales coach Warren Gatland, but O’Shea insists the idea he could lose his cool at any moment is inaccurate.


“Has he got an edge? Yes. But he’s more under control than people think. When you are as explosive as he is, he won’t take a backward step, we know that,” O’Shea said.

“He has a swagger but he backs it up with the way he plays. I have gone through a lot of his formative years and he’s still a young player. He is good to be around.”

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