Harlequins captain James Horwill insists understanding the difference between anger and aggression will enable Kyle Sinckler to stop becoming his “own worst enemy”.
Sinckler has been banned for seven weeks for gouging in Saturday’s defeat at Northampton after a disciplinary hearing decided that making contact with the eye of Michael Paterson was a deliberate act.
Sinckler, 24, accepted the charge while maintaining it was reckless rather than malicious and has apologised to his team-mates for an offence which director of rugby John Kingston views as “not acceptable”.
England’s second choice tighthead prop, who was omitted from Eddie Jones’ most recent training squad, has effectively been ruled out of the entire autumn series as his Nov. 21 return date is four days before the final Twickenham international against Samoa.
An arrest by Auckland police for a minor offence during last summer’s British & Irish Lions tour to New Zealand and a combative style on the pitch have established Sinckler as a fiery competitor and veteran Australia lock Horwill believes his fury is an asset only if channelled correctly.
Sinkler was arrested in New Zealand earlier this year during the Lions tour. MICHAEL BRADLEY/AFP/Getty Images
“Kyle has so much raw potential and ability that he can become a world beater and one of the sport’s best props,” Horwill said shortly before the hearing’s verdict was announced. “But sometimes he can be his own worst enemy a little bit and lose focus on what his main goal is. The better he gets at that, the better he’ll be on the pitch.
“It’s about being aggressive and not angry. Someone told me that when I was a younger player — because I was quite ill-disciplined at that stage — there’s a difference between being aggressive and angry.
“When you’re angry you’re no good to anyone, you’re going around and doing the wrong thing. Aggression used the right way is so productive for your team.
“It’s a maturing process because as you get older you understand better what you need to get yourself up for a game.
“But one of Kyle’s points of difference is that he’s a very aggressive guy, he’s an aggressive carrier. That’s something that he wants to keep doing, but must harness it to benefit himself and the team.
“He’s a great kid, his heart is always in the right place and that’s why he does so much for us as a team and the community.”
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