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'The thing that kills me': Kyle Sinckler as you've never seen him

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by David Rogers/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

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England prop Kyle Sinckler is set to appear in a compelling documentary on Monday about his native south London and how it kills him not seeing the kids there getting the same chance he got to succeed in life. The 28-year-old is set to represent his country as the starting tighthead in this Saturday’s Guinness Six Nations round three game against Wales.

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However, away from the bright lights and the razzamatazz of Twickenham on international Test match day, the front-rower has painted a stark picture of life elsewhere in the English capital. Raised in Furzedown, near Tooting in south London, Sinckler has retraced his growing-up steps in Against The Odds, a documentary due to be shown this Monday on ITV4 at 9pm

In an eye-catching trailer that includes Sinckler walking around his old neighbourhood, the England player is asked by the narrator: “There seems to be a sadness when you reflect on your past. Why?”

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Sinckler’s reply begins with footage of him walking the streets where he grew up and pointing to a derelict building. “There used to be like a community kind of centre. It is a shame that it is shut down now,” he said. 

Sinckler then spoke about violence and knife crime in the area and his bemusement that today’s kids aren’t able to get an opportunity to better themselves. “Obviously I am south London through and through and then I go back and it’s the exact same,” explained the England prop who now plays his club rugby at Bristol after beginning his professional career at Harlequins.  

“I understand I was lucky in terms of the opportunity I was given and the thing that kills me is seeing the kids not get that opportunity because I truly believe that if they can see light at the end of the tunnel then a lot of the stuff that is going on right now in terms of the violence and knife crime in inner London especially wouldn’t be going in.

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“You feel like no one cares. That’s the truth. It’s them against the world and it’s like I feel it is my duty to let them know that I care. I am going to try. Like, someone has to.” 

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