Kingston: Sinckler is not some sort of thug

John Kingston acknowledges British & Irish Lions and England prop Kyle Sinckler will have to repair his tarnished image after serving a seven week ban for gouging against Northampton.

Harlequins director of rugby Kingston is adamant the public perception of Sinckler, who was taken back to the Lions hotel in Auckland by police and had to apologise after an incident on the summer tour, is not a “thug” as many would believe.

The 24-year-old has been convicted of putting his fingers near to an opponent’s eye and while Kingston insists the prop was only trying to remove Michael Paterson’s head guard, the end result was a ban.

However, Kingston does not want Sinckler to be defined by one mistake and said: “Yes, I understand that people will have a different image of Kyle. I can cannot change that unless people do their homework and see what Kyle is really about.

“If they did they would quickly realise he is not some sort of thug who walks around doing what he wants to anyone. That is an extreme picture that some people could have. I accept that certain actions will draw attention to yourself but he is very remorseful about what happened.

“Now, it is there, it is not easy to move on with your game, but he will wake up this morning and realise he now has an opportunity to get incredibly fit when he comes back at the end of November. He will be ready to show what a wonderful rugby player he can be.

“Kyle is man who is extremely driven to achieve things and get the best out of himself. He got it wrong against Northampton and he is very remorseful about that decision. He is remarkably mature in many ways but like a lot of us at 24, makes some mistakes.

“People don’t get everything right all the time and when you are in the spotlight you pay the price. He has never had an automatic red card on the pitch.”

Quins have received four on-field yellow cards — including one for Sinckler against Wasps — plus another for Joe Marler from the citing commissioner in the aftermath of his scuffle with James Haskell.

With Sinckler now banned, Kingston has reminded his players about the need for improved self-discipline as they prepare to face Sale Sharks at home on Friday night.

He also felt that his determination to make an impression after being omitted from England’s most recent training squad resulted in his ban.

“Truthfully, it was probably born of someone who is desperately keen to progress, to improve things, to get things done quickly. He’s impetuous in the way he wants to make a mark. I’m sure his desperation to achieve would have been heightened by the fact he wasn’t in England’s training squad last week.

“He wanted to make a mark and that’s what he said went through his mind — that he wanted to make a mark however he could and if he grabs this and throws it away then he’s got to go and get it, that will level things up in terms of reducing numbers actively in attack.

“It led to the incident and there is no place for that at all. Whatever the reason, it’s not acceptable. He’s remorseful and frankly he’s absolutely embarrassed about this. There’s a lot of pressure on him and he knows he got things very wrong on Saturday.”

PA contributed to this report

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Kingston: Sinckler is not some sort of thug – RUGBY

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