Let's get physical, Lions prop tells Highlanders

Kyle Sinckler (Getty Images)
Kyle Sinckler (Getty Images)

Dunedin - British and Irish Lions prop Kyle Sinckler wants to get in the faces of the Highlanders on Tuesday, but without the lack of discipline that has often landed him in trouble.

The Harlequins and England front-rower admitted he has let his aggressive streak get the better of him in the past before receiving a ticking-off from more experienced team-mates.

Sinckler's club colleagues Adam Jones and James Horwill told him to calm down or risk his career and it has paid off with the 24-year-old set for his second Lions start in Dunedin.

He said the turning point was a match at Wasps last year when he came on at half-time furious at how poorly his team was playing.

"I could've probably been sent off about two or three times in that game. They sat me down on that Monday after and took it upon themselves to tell me: 'Look you've got to stop it'," he said.

"They said it's always me starting the fights and costing the team.

"I needed to sit back and think if Adam Jones - 95 caps for Wales, and James Horwill - 62 caps and Australia captain, have gone out of their way to speak to me then I needed to sort myself out."

Sinckler has never made a Test start for England but impressed against the Provincial Barbarians.

With another chance to shine against the Highlanders, his combination of power and set-piece technique could yet see him make the Lions side to face the All Blacks.

"I want to be physical, I want to play on the edge and in people's faces, but in the right way, not to the detriment of the team," he said.

"That conversation with James and Adam put things in perspective for me. I'm still growing, still becoming a man, and learning from my mistakes."

Sinckler, who has a surprising turn of pace for a 122kg prop, played in the backs as a youth and said he may show off some of his old skills in Dunedin.

"I enjoy having the ball in my hands and running lines off number nine and 10," he said.

Lions captain Sam Warburton said the covered roof of the Highlanders' Forsyth Barr Stadium should make for a faster game than Saturday's 12-3 win over the Crusaders in Christchurch.

"It's a great ground to play in, so I'd imagine the scoreline will be a little bit different to the Crusaders game, it was quite slippy out there," the Welsh flank said.

"I'm sure it's going to be perhaps a little bit quicker, a little bit more ball in play and some more points scored for sure."

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