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'He just got on with it' | Pat Lam on Kyle Sinckler after his B&I Lions omission

The way Kyle Sinckler handled his British and Irish Lions omission is the mark of a great player,...



Rugby

'He just got on with it' | Pat Lam on Kyle Sinckler after his B&I Lions omission


The way Kyle Sinckler handled his British and Irish Lions omission is the mark of a great player, according to Bristol Bears Director of Rugby Pat Lam.

The England prop was widely considered a nailed-on candidate to fill one of the 37 seats on the plane to South Africa, however Lions coach Warren Gatland did not select him.

While Sinckler was clearly effected by the omission, giving a very emotional post-match interview after Bristol’s next match against Bath, he has used it to spark his current run of excellent form.

Speaking on Wednesday Night Rugby on Off The Ball, former Connacht head coach Lam expressed how his Bristol players reacted upon hearing the news that Sinckler was not in the Lions squad.

“Our culture is very similar to at Connacht; it is love,” Lam said. “It is to sacrifice oneself for the good of the others, all the boys now that.

“[It is a] very tough situation, because everyone thought he was a sitter. We had a team meeting, team review, and I asked the media guy to send me a message when the team is named.

“Then I could announce it and we could get on with training. I got the message about 10 minutes before the end, and I could see it said, ‘Sinks missed out’.

“We had just finished the meeting, went out and you could see the boys look at their phones and everyone realised the bombshell.”

Lam made an effort to reach out to Sinckler after the meeting, however he was impressed with how the 28-year-old simply pushed on with training.

“I went down, got my stuff and by the time I got on the field Kyle was already warming up,” Lam said.

“I just gave him a hug and he said, ‘all good, I want to use this for good,’ and he just got on with it.

“He trained superbly that day, sent out a classy tweet about it, and then played a man of the match [performance] against Bath, and he just got on.”

Kyle Sinckler Lions British and Irish Lions Kyle Sinckler during the tour match at Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin

Sinckler became an infamous Lion in 2017 when he was arrested while on a night out during the tour of New Zealand, however Lam believes that that should not define his Lions career.

While many fans and players have their opinions of a player based on what they see in the media or on the field, Lam suggested that it is only by getting to know people personally that you can see what they are truly made of; and he believes Sinckler is a great player.

“From a distance, people have opinions of players,” Lam said. “When I played, I didn’t like certain players because they were on the opposite team.

“But when you get to know people, it is completely different. People’s actions when you get to know them are impressive.

“What makes the great players is the disappointment and the bounce back.”

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Bristol Bears British And Irish Lions Kyle Sinckler New Zealand Pat Lam South Africa Warren Gatland