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Kyle Sinckler is making case for England’s tightheads

Kyle SincklerEngland’s current loosehead crop have been earning the plaudits over the tightheads but it might not be long before it evens out thanks to youngsters such as Harlequins’ Kyle Sinckler.

Sinckler, 21,  has been on a crash course, starting all of Harlequins’ games at tighthead for the past two months.

After an impressive stint with England U18s, he was sent by Quins to Richmond and became a key player as they were promoted to National League One in 2012.

This season notable displays off the bench have taken him past England cap Paul Doran-Jones and, when Will Collier was injured, into the Quins starting XV.

Last week, he was put to the test against one of the world’s best looseheads in Leicester’s Marcos Ayerza but he held his own against the 48-times capped Pumas.

“Playing under Steve Hill was great. I owe a lot to Richmond. We won the promotion to National League One when I was there so they have a special place in my heart,” he told The Rugby Paper.

“As a young front row, playing against very experience props helped me massively. I used to have a chat with the opposition loosehead and see where I went wrong.

“It was great to face a seasoned campaigner like Marcos last week. I still have a long way to go but I think I did pretty well whether it was in the loose or at the set piece.

“I’m only 21 playing at tighthead in Premiership so I take every scrum and every game as they come. My body suffered in the past few weeks but I’d rather be playing than be seating on my couch.”

Injury meant Sinckler missed lifting the Junior World Cup last year. He is too old to participate in it in New Zealand this summer but he could well tour the country with the senior squad.

With Dan Cole and Collier injured and Henry Thomas and Doran-Jones out of form, England will need to cover David Wilson for the first Test against the All Blacks.

England forwards coach Graham Rowntree, who had a scrum session with Sinckler on Tuesday, recently revealed they could look at youngsters.

“Graham told me I was playing well and that I had to keep going one game at a time,” he added.

“Of course I want to play for England but I’ve only started seven games. I try not to get carried away. I just want to keep working hard to better myself and earn a reputation.”

“You can’t look too far ahead as a tighthead. You can have a great scrum and the next you’re getting pumped and go back five yards.”

Since his Richmond days, Sinckler stood apart with the rampaging runs and ball handling skills Nick Easter would be proud of. However, he knows his scrummaging will take him to next level not his barn-storming runs.

“I concentrate a lot on my set-piece and the breakdown and if I get my hands on the ball then it’s a plus. My all handling skills set me apart but let’s not get away from the fact that a tighthead’s main job is to scrummage. That’s what I’m here for.”

NICK VERDIER

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