England international Paul Doran Jones is backing Wandsworth-born prop Kyle Sinckler for internationals honours after witnessing his emergence for Harlequins in the Aviva Premiership firsthand this season.
While Doran Jones and fellow England international Joe Marler have been missing through injury for Quins; Sinckler, who started his rugby career at Battersea Ironsides, has grabbed his chance of first team rugby at the Twickenham Stoop with both hands.
The 21-year-old has become a mainstay of Conor O’Shea’s Harlequins and has even caught the eye of the England management after being selected for last season’s fixture against the Barbarians.
Quins have struggled domestically this season – they currently sit in eighth position in the Aviva Premiership table – but in Europe they have sparkled and with two fixtures to come against Wasps and Castres; a last-eight spot beckons.
And Sinckler’s performances in the front row have caught the eye, with Doran Jones believing his increased involvement this season due to injury has been the key.
“In my position, the two young lads, Will Collier and Kyle Sinckler, have been exceptional and it’s great to see them doing so well,” said Doran Jones.
The England international was visiting Bishop Perrin C of E Primary School in Twickenham to support the Aviva Tackling Numbers programme – an innovative and engaging programme about numbers and financial education fun.
“It’s great for the club and great for English rugby – they are top, top boys who work really hard – they are certainly destined for the very top,” he said.
“They’ve got loads of potential and are great players – obviously I’m disappointed personally not to be playing but it’s great for the club to have them coming through.
“Long may it continues because I think that competition is what will make the squad stronger and make us all better as Harlequins players.”
What has impressed Doran Jones particularly about Sinckler this season is his willingness to learn from those around him and improve his game.
Unlike other positions in rugby; props tend to blossom later in their careers and that’s what has made Sinckler’s achievements this season at such a young age all the better for Doran Jones.
“As a prop you never stop learning and your scrummaging is your bread and butter, so you’re always working on that and trying to improve,” he added. “Kyle impresses me because he just wants to keep on improving.
“What has impressed me most about the two young guys, Kyle and Will Collier, is the fact that they are willing to learn – that’s great.
“Kyle is a bundle of energy and he’s a great guy but around the pitch he forever wants the ball and is hungry for it.
“He’s ferocious in defence as well and those attributes really stand him in good stead, so it’s great to see him doing so well.
“He got on the scoresheet last week as well which was fantastic for him – he’s still got lots to learn but we’ve all got a lot to learn.”
Paul Doran Jones is supporting Aviva Tackling Numbers, an innovative maths programme for 7-9 year olds.
The programme aims to improve numeracy levels through rugby based exercises and is run in partnership with Premiership Rugby. Visit www.aviva.co.uk/tacklingnumbers