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Scotland v England: Kyle Sinckler on ridding himself of a 'victim's mindset'

Scotland v England: Kyle Sinckler on ridding himself of a 'victim's mindset'
Guinness Six Nations - Scotland v England
Venue: Murrayfield, Edinburgh Date: Saturday, 5 February Kick-off: 16:45 GMT
Coverage: Watch live on BBC One and BBC iPlayer; live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live and the BBC Sport website and app.

England prop Kyle Sinckler says ridding himself of a "victim's mindset" has been instrumental in his development.

Since making his debut in 2016, the 47-cap prop has become an England regular and is set to start Saturday's Six Nations showdown against Scotland.

But Sinckler, 28, says he has come a long way since he first joined Eddie Jones' set-up.

"At the time I thought I was a lot better than I was and my eyes were opened massively," he said.

Sinckler added on the Rugby Union Daily podcast: "I saw how far I was off the boil, not just in terms of my rugby ability - which I thought at the time was unbelievable.

"But I had a big victim's mindset - 'the coach doesn't like me, [former Harlequins coach] Conor O'Shea is never picking me' - but in actual fact I was talented but I was lazy.

"I would just punch in at training at 9am, and as soon as training was done I was at home on the sofa watching Sky Sports News."

Sinckler says the tour to Australia in 2016, when he was selected but did not play in the three-Test series, "relit the fire" inside him.

"It was the best thing for me I didn't play, because it gave me that hunger, and every day since then I have always tried to make the most of it," he said.

Twice a British and Irish Lion, Sinckler is set to reach 50 caps for his country in the course of the upcoming Six Nations.

"For me to potentially be getting 50 caps would be an unbelievable experience, but it means more when you are part of a successful team," reflected the Bristol forward.

"I want the team to be winning games week-in-and-week out as opposed to what we experienced last year, because that wasn't nice for anyone."

Scotland game is 'acid test'

After the fifth-placed Championship finish in 2021, a revamped England went unbeaten in the autumn internationals, although Sinckler says this Saturday's Calcutta Cup showdown at Murrayfield is the "acid test" of the side's development.

England's build-up has been heavily disrupted, with captain Owen Farrell ruled out and a host of other players doubtful either through injury or Covid, but Sinckler insists it is "business as usual".

"We play an attritional sport and I can't remember the last time everyone was fit," he said.

"Obviously those guys will be sorely missed but it gives an opportunity for other guys to come in.

"I personally feel we are in a great space as a squad, but the real acid test is the first game and you see really where you are at.

"All we can do is what we are doing at the moment, connecting as a squad off the field, building those relationships and those bonds, and then getting out on the field and working tremendously hard.

"I feel like we are in a very, very good space in terms of the experience we have in the group and the young guys coming through - I think we have a very good mix of the two, and it's going to be exciting.

"I'm buzzing to hopefully be selected and to go out there and do my thing."

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