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England star Kyle Sinckler admits he was 'a tit' for trying to fight Alun Wyn Jones in front of 70,000 Welsh fans

By Ben James

England star Kyle Sinckler admits he was 'a tit' for trying to be the tough guy and fighting Alun Wyn Jones in front of a partisan Wales crowd in Cardiff.

The Lions prop hit the headlines after the Six Nations game when he was replaced on 60 minutes by Eddie Jones, conceding penalties after Wales' players had got under his skin. He was seen openly grappling with Wales captain and colossus Jones at one point.

The build-up to the 2019 clash had been dominated by Warren Gatland's claim that Sinckler was "emotionally a bit of a time bomb" and "there is a challenge sometimes with his temperament."

Read next: Willis Halaholo officially out of Wales tour and two guaranteed starters now 'touch and go'

Gatland's words proved true as Sinckler self destructed on the day and Wales won 21-13 en route to the Grand Slam. As for England, it would be another harsh lesson to learn ahead of their eventual run to the World Cup final later that year.

Sinckler has since referred to that match as "one of the worst days of his career", as well as a turning point for him. Since then, he's sought help through all-male mentoring club Saviour World.

And, reflecting on what happened once again during Joe's House of Rugby podcast, Sinckler admitted that his mentor at Saviour World has helped him move on from the infamous Cardiff clash in a way that many other psychologists hadn't.

Speaking about how he came to seek help, he said: "I was going through a tough time. I know people say I didn't, but I feel I did mess it up and lose the Grand Slam for England when I was a tit and got taken off after 60 minutes for trying to fight Alun Wyn Jones and be seen as a tough guy.

"At that part of my journey, I was very victimy. I thought it wasn't my fault and I didn't get why I'd been taking off. That World Cup pre-season was the hardest I'd been pushed and Eddie was trying to curb that discipline and make sure I was something he could count on.

"At that point, I probably wasn't. Then one of the boys said I should speak to this guy. I called him and everything made sense. I'd always speak to psychologists.

"My issue was anger and they'd always say when you feel like this, think cold and blue. I'd be thinking 'Have you played rugby?!' I'm at the Millennium Stadium with 70,000 people, trying to centre myself!

"You haven't got a moment to think. But he helped me understand the way I was."

Sinckler also revealed he was hugely grateful to Alun Wyn's best friend Adam Jones, another Welsh legend, for putting him on track at Harlequins. When tight-head great Jones joined the English giants, Sinckler felt his game time would be limited - but instead says he is 'eternal grateful' to his Welsh mentor.

"At that time (he signed), I was like, I can't play when he's here. I'm never going to get a game," he said.

"But I remember the first time Bomb came to the club, he said 'I'm here to help you. Whatever you need, I'm an open book'.

"From that moment on, I was an absolute nause with him. I just followed him around the club, asking what he was doing and why he did it. 'OK you're in at 7.30 doing cross trainer? Ok, I will be there'.

"Little things like that. I like to learn by seeing things. Being in his presence was invaluable."

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Dive Deeper:
England star Kyle Sinckler admits he was ‘a tit’ for trying to fight Alun Wyn Jones
British and Irish Lions team-mates Kyle Sinckler and Alun Wyn Jones made their rivalry personal in 2019, but the England…
Today's rugby news as World Cup set to be moved to summer and Wales nearly-man signs for England's best team
The latest rugby news from Wales and around the world
Welsh rugby's form giant justifies Gatland's shock decision three years on from the hype
Cardiff prop Rhys Carre has been in the form of his career over the past month or so after missing…
Wales debate around picking 19-year-old 'natural born leader' as coach thinks call-up 'likely' next week
His vastly experienced and much-respected coach rates him very highly
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Rugby evening headlines as World Rugby confirm five new laws and Shaun Edwards' son becomes elected councillor
The rugby news on the evening of Thursday May 12
The three young bolters who may burst into 37-man Wales squad Pivac names for South Africa amid raft of injuries
The Wales boss will name his squad early next week but he has a host of injury problems to deal…
Get all your news in one place