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Kyle Sinckler: 'My nan gave me a clip round the ear'
TeddingtonQuin (IP Logged)
21 November, 2017 21:36
From the Torygraph (premium I think so I've copied it out)

Kyle Sinckler exclusive interview: 'My nan gave me a clip round the ear for my eye-gouging ban'

Lions and Harlequins tighthead prop Kyle Sinckler becomes available for selection on Tuesday after serving a seven-week ban for making contact with the eyes of Northampton lock Michael Paterson, admitting that: "I’ve been an idiot and let my teammates down by costing them for seven weeks."

Sinckler is all too aware of the heinous nature of the offence, "the worst in the players’ book", as he puts it, but insists that he was "reckless" in what he did rather than intentionally putting his fingers into Paterson’s eye area, even though that is what is recorded in the official disciplinary report.

Sinckler is adamant in sticking to his version of events, and with a degree of plausibility given that the minimum entry-point ban for such an offence is 12 weeks yet he was given five weeks dispensation, primarily for his guilty plea and conduct at the hearing.

What is abundantly clear is that the punishment has served its purpose. “It’s been the toughest period of my career,” said Sinckler.

Sinckler reveals that he got a "clip round the ear from my nan" for getting into trouble yet holds his family connections (and admonishments) in such regard that he goes back every weekend to the south London estate in Tooting where he grew up, getting a weekly haircut from the local barber he first went to as a child.

“My roots are so important to me and I hope I’m true to them,” said Sinckler, whose mum, Donna, used to ferry him back and forth to training as a youngster before putting in a 12-hour night shift, 7pm-7am, which she still does, at a police call response centre.

“I stay in Guildford (where Quins are based) during the week and then head back home on Sunday. My 11-year-old twin brother and sister, Aidan and Eryn, play rugby. Eryn is really good, plays for Surrey and is also picking my game apart. She is always giving me stick. My nan, too, put me in my place about the ban.”

Sinckler took a lot of criticism in the wake of his ban. The 24 year-old had a volatile reputation, partly derived from his own back story, his mum taking him to a local rugby club in desperation after he kept getting into scrapes and punch-ups at football. Rugby provided an outlet for pent-up anger issues. The prop’s disciplinary record is actually pretty good, although there have been plenty of on-field skirmishes as well as an untoward incident in the end-of-Lions-tour aftermath when Sinckler was arrested by Auckland police but released without charge following a ‘minor disorder’.

For all that the last seven weeks has proved to be a salutary experience, Sinckler insists that he will continue to play his usual fierce brand of rugby.

“I’m no use to anyone if I’m not playing on the edge,” said Sinckler. “I guess with maturity you come to realise that you can get to the edge without costing the team. I was an idiot. I have held my hand up and treated the ban as a close-season, worked hard so that I can repay the boys by putting in some big shifts for the rest of the season.”

And what of his image?

“What can I do?” said Sinckler. “I know what was said but, really, I’m not like that. I simply would not intentionally gouge someone. I might get into a scrap but I would never gouge. I went on an England tour with Michael Paterson. He’s a good guy. I was on my back with four blokes on top of me, how can I even see what I’m doing with my hand? It was reckless, for sure, but it was disappointing as to how I was portrayed. We all make mistakes and I made that mistake. People are going to say what they’re going to say. If I’m the bad boy, I’m the bad boy.”

Sinckler can’t be faulted for the manner in which he has fronted up; honest and articulate. But the real proof of his corrected attitude will come in his performances. Eddie Jones has been in touch, stressing what he needs to work on having left him out of a training camp in Oxford - advice which Sincker is only too keen to act upon.

He may have leapfrogged starting England tighthead Dan Cole to be the replacement prop behind Ireland’s Tadhg Furlong in all three Lions Tests, but he himself has now seen Exeter’s Harry Williams come in for the autumn series with England.

“The Lions counts for nothing,” said Sinckler. “It doesn’t mean anything for England. It’s up to me to knuckle down, work hard and improve, and show what I’ve got to offer. If I don’t, then England will not come calling. In fact, that is all I want to do – play rugby. Not over think it all, but just get out there again. I’ve missed it so much. And I’m raring to go.”

West Stand, Block FD, Row S (if renewed)
@JT075 #COYQ

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