Kyle Sinckler has said he is unable to recall any memories from England’s World Cup final defeat to South Africa after he was knocked unconscious.
In what had been a standout tournament for the Harlequins tighthead prop, Sinckler’s part in the final lasted only three minutes as he was left concussed after colliding with teammate Maro Itoje while attempting to tackle Makazole Mapimpi.
And after being attended to by both England team medics and tournament doctors, he returned to the sidelines from the team dressing room to watch the rest of the match.
But the 26-year-old concedes he can remember little of the 32-12 loss in Yokohama.
“I didn’t really know what was going on. I can’t remember anything really from the final. They said I came back out, but I can’t remember that,” Sinckler told the Press Association.
“It was an innocuous incident which was just meant to be, but it was really, really tough.
“You ask yourself, ‘why me? I’ve trained so hard to get to this moment. I’ve dreamed it, this is my life’.”
Sinckler expanded on feeling ‘distraught’ at his early exit in the sport’s biggest match, while also being magnanimous about South Africa captain Siya Kolisi being the man to lift the Webb Ellis trophy.
“It took three or four weeks to get over the final. It was dark,” he said.
“You go through phases where you’re distraught, feeling sorry for yourself and down in the dumps.
“But then I snapped out of it, realising that you can either be the guy who is always feeling sorry for yourself or use it as motivation to push on.
“If anyone was going to win the World Cup, I’m glad it was him (Siya Kolisi). He’s such an honourable man,” Sinckler added.