Chris Robshaw: New Quins coach Rowntree can turn around Sinckler’s England fortunes

Wandsworth’s Kyle Sinckler has toured New Zealand and Australia without ever winning an England cap, but club-mate Chris Robshaw believes new Harlequins coach Graham Rowntree could be the missing link in the 23-year-old’s quest for Test honours.

Ex-England and British & Irish Lions forwards coach Rowntree won 54 Test caps and arrives at Twickenham Stoop in his first job since being relieved of his Red Rose duties by Eddie Jones.

Wandsworth-born Sinckler is still extremely young for a Test prop, while he has natural pace, power and Jones admires the youngster’s abrasive edge.

Rowntree forms part of a new-look coaching team at the Stoop, with freshly-retired No.8 Nick Easter becoming defence coach and ex-head coach John Kingston taking over from Conor O’Shea as director of rugby.

And Robshaw hopes Rowntree will steel Sinckler’s flashes of brilliance – including a stunning 40-metre try against London Irish last season – with increased set-piece stability.

“Kyle has a huge amount of potential and having someone like Graham at the club will help him immensely,” Robshaw said, speaking at the launch of the Crabbies National Rugby Awards at Wimbledon Rugby Club.

“He will personally work with these guys one-on-one as units and really develop them all, hopefully that front-row unit will become very tight.

“He has got to push on and hopefully will, he has made that break through and for a lot of these young guys, it is the second or third season when they really need to step up. I am sure he will do exactly that. He will have the backing of the team.”

Robshaw worked closely with Rowntree during his tenure as England captain and insists the former Leicester Tigers stalwart will help boost Quins after a disappointing seventh-place finish.

“It was a shame to see Conor leave but with John, Graham and Nick coming in, hopefully it will bring a bit of freshness and kick us back up there,” 51-cap international Robshaw said.

“Last couple of years we slipped down the table and out of the Champions Cup so hopefully we can improve.

“We have added some tinkering bits to begin with and he has come in and made his own mark on it, his own stamp.

“I am very excited about the relationship with Graham, I know Wig through a lot of England stuff and having worked with him quite closely before.

“He is so excited to be back in the game and has so much energy and hopefully after the first couple of games you will see the impact he has made with us.

“Everyone is excited and hopefully he will add that strength to our set-piece that he has expertise in and really develop our forward pack.”

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