An exclusive Q&A with the front-rower, where he talks guilty pleasures and embarrassing moments


Downtime with… Harlequins and England prop Kyle Sinckler

Who are the jokers you play with?

At Quins, it’s Dave Ward. He’s a funny guy. With England, Jamie George, Harry Williams, Alec Hepburn, Ben Te’o. Hang out with those guys and you crack up.

What about practical jokes?

We used to do quite a few. Danny Care and Jamie were on the social committee and would play pranks on people, film it and then play them in meetings. It didn’t happen so much in the last campaign.

What are your phobias?

I don’t like snakes so I’m happy I live in England. I hate spiders. I think I’m on the verge of OCD thinking about lights left on in the house – things like that. I have to check on my housemates. I live with George Merrick and a friend from school – they’d say I’m a very firm landlord!

What are your nicknames?

Sinck. Kitchen. Dylan Hartley calls me D300 – I think it’s after some sort of wrestler or bodybuilder.

Courtney Lawes

Tall order: Courtney Lawes puts his height to good use at a lineout (Getty Images)

If you could be any of your team-mates, who would it be?

Courtney Lawes. To see what it looks like from up there at 6ft 8in.

Your Mastermind specialist subject?

I pride myself on my sports knowledge – horse racing, football, basketball, NFL, tennis… If anyone wants to talk sport with me I can have a conversation. If it’s anything else, I lose my bearings!

Do you have any superstitions?

I used to wear the same undershorts and same socks and have the same routine. As I got older, I realised it didn’t matter. It’s about your preparation in the week – if you prepare well, everything else can take care of itself.

What’s your most embarrassing moment?

When I was a kid, about 13, someone called me fat at school and I was so upset that I ran to my auntie’s house nearby. When she opened the door I was in floods of tears and she thought something serious had happened. I said: “They called me fat.”

Tom Brady

Ball games: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (Getty Images)

Who’d you like to be stuck in a lift with?

Tom Brady. I’d like to pick his brains for a few hours on the stuff he does. He wasn’t a high Draft pick, no one expected anything from him, but he built himself up, won five Super Bowls, made himself the best quarterback ever and is still playing at 41.

What’s the silliest thing you’ve bought?

I bought this brown jacket, like a trench coat that is fluffy on the inside. I tried it on and the shop assistant was saying it looked good and I should definitely buy it. I’ve still got it – but I’ve never worn it!

What’s your guilty pleasure?

I wouldn’t say it’s guilty but I love cheesecake. I also love these crisps, sweet chilli Sensations. They say on the label they’re healthy – and taste unbelievable. I could get through a pack of eight.

What would you save in a house fire?

My dog Brody, a French bulldog I’ve had for four years. And my Xbox; I play NBA 2K19, Fifa 19, Red Dead Redemption.

Harlequins and England prop Kyle Sinckler

Dinner date? Jennifer Lopez performs at the American Music Awards (Getty Images)

Who would be your three dream dinner party guests?

Denzel Washington. LeBron James – he hasn’t dropped off in the way he plays and at 33 is arguably playing his best basketball. And Jennifer Lopez – she’s a great singer so can sing at dinner.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

Teleportation. I hate long journeys, so I’d like to click my fingers and be home. I take a sleeping pill on long flights, close my eyes and open them when we arrive.

What do you want to achieve outside of rugby?

I’ve set up my own property company, so I’m building my portfolio. I’ve got two houses and am going to buy a third. They’re in Guildford as that’s where I live and I like to be hands-on if things go wrong. I’ll go round with the builder and pop in to check the boys haven’t wrecked it. Lewis Boyce, Marcus Smith and Stan South live in my second house.

It’s easier to rent to the boys and I want to help them out, see them get their own houses. I encourage them to save. It’s important to think ahead, get something to your name by the time you retire.

Do you have any hidden talents?

I’m pretty decent at football but I’m not sure it’s a hidden one. We used to sneak off on a Monday after Quins training and play five-a-side. We played in a league in Tolworth – me, Dave Ward, Adam Jones, Karl Dickson and a few others.

I was the top goal-scorer and we were top of the league. Then the coaches found out and put an end to it.

This article originally appeared in the January 2019 edition of Rugby World magazine.

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