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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Monday, January 27th 2020

Sinckler X-factor excites Lam

Pat Lam hailed the ‘X-factor’ qualities of his latest acquisition, Kyle Sinckler, after the England and British and Irish Lions tighthead agreed a two-year deal at Bristol Bears.

Sinckler will make the switch to Ashton Gate ahead of the 2020/21 season, and the Bristol Director of Rugby labelled the 26-year-old – who was one of the standout players at the 2019 Rugby World Cup – as ‘one of the best in the world.’

“Everyone knows that if you’re trying to build a really strong team, the foundation of that is having a very good tighthead prop,” said Lam.

“Obviously, we have a world class one in John Afoa, but John won’t mind me saying that he’s coming to the very end.

“So, to overlap that with Kyle Sinckler, who is one of the best in the world, is huge for us. He gives us real depth in there, and I know just from speaking to Kyle, he really looks up to and admires what John (Afoa) does and is keen to learn from him. And that sums it up, it’s what you want – players who are playing at the highest level but have that hunger and determination to get even better.

“Just spending time with Kyle, the amount he invests in his game to be a better individual and a better rugby player is extremely impressive and he’ll fit into our group really well.”

Sinckler has made 25 appearances for his country, as well as three for the British and Irish Lions on the most recent tour of New Zealand, quickly establishing himself as one of the world’s leading tighthead props.

Sinckler in action for the British and Irish Lions.

Lam believes Sinckler’s attributes make him the perfect fit for the Bears expansive style and is looking forward to seeing him work with former All Black international, John Afoa.

“First and foremost, up front, he’s very aggressive. He’s a good scrummager, his core roles are very good, but similar to John, he has a lot of x-factor in his game – and it’s no secret the way I like to play the game.

“I want all 15 guys to really have the skills, so that we can attack from anywhere, defend from anywhere, and Kyle is right up there with the best ball handling props as well. It will be great to see Kyle and John (Afoa) work together.

“With John probably heading into his last season, bringing in Kyle, who is an English qualified player as well, is massive and it improves our depth.

“We are very clear on our ambition and where we want to play, and if you’re going to fight on two fronts, as we’ve found out this year, it’s extremely difficult. So, getting good depth in that position is massive for us.”


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