MIKE BROWN: Sinckler should be given chance to lead England

MIKE BROWN: Kyle Sinckler should be given the chance to prove his worth… he’s the most professional forward I’ve worked with and would be a great England captain this summer

  • Kyle Sinckler would make a good captain for England even if it was short-term
  • He has developed into the most professional forward player I have worked with
  • There are a number of lower profile players I would also like to see involved 

There will be a lot of changes to the England team this summer and I would love to see Kyle Sinckler take over the captaincy. Even if it’s a short-term role until the senior players return from the Lions tour, it would be a really astute move.

Kyle’s matured a lot since he first turned up at Harlequins as a schoolboy with a bit of puppy fat. Over the years, he has developed into the most professional forward I have ever worked with. Only Jonny May comes close in terms of the amount of ‘extras’ he does away from team training. Kyle sets unbelievably high standards and, as a captain, others would follow him.

As everyone saw in his passionate TV interview after his Lions omission, he is an extremely eloquent guy. The general public can relate to him.

Kyle Sinckler should take the England captaincy at least as a short-term move for the summer

Sinckler spoke well after his Lions omission and the public can relate to him

Ever since I started watching England matches on TV, I’ve realised the importance of the captain being a spokesman to supporters. If you get it wrong, it can easily backfire.

A lot of fans were getting on the team’s back after Owen Farrell’s interview with Sonja McLaughlan because it’s all over social media within minutes. That’s no criticism of Owen because I’ve done far worse interviews… I’m constantly reminded of my interview after England lost to Wales in the 2015 World Cup!

Whether you like it or not, being a spokesman for the team is a big part of the role and I feel Kyle could be a natural frontman. Gareth Southgate has shown the benefit of putting positive messages out there and getting people onside. It builds a real connection with everyone supporting the team and also gives the players a little bit more leeway through the tough times.

Everyone in the England group, players and coaches alike, admire Kyle as a person and I think he would relish the responsibility, particularly as a way to harness his Lions disappointment.

I’m looking forward to seeing what other changes Eddie Jones makes. In 2017, when a lot of senior players were away with the Lions, Eddie fast-tracked guys like Tom Curry into the senior squad. Curry was made to share a room with Dylan Hartley, the captain, and it was all part of the audition to see if he was ready to step up.

I will be gobsmacked if Marcus Smith does not wear the No 10 jersey. Everyone is talking about him because of his performances for Quins, but here are a few lower-profile guys who I would like to see involved…

Sinckler sets unbelievably high standards as a England player and would make a good captain

Freddie Steward

Age 20, full-back, Leicester

Nobody has come in and really grabbed the 15 shirt. He has the attributes of an old school full- back: high ball, one-on-one tackling, counter attack and a good boot. You need those fundamentals at Test level. He’s a big lump and he reminds me of All Black Jordie Barrett. Tom de Glanville should also be in the mix but Steward is the man in form.

Adam Radwan

Age 23, wing, Newcastle

England need to find another winger who can play the physical role of Jack Nowell. Someone who can step off their wing and get stuck in around the breakdown. Radwan and London Irish’s Ollie Hassell-Collins are both guys with the right physical attributes. They may be a little bit raw in terms of reading the game and backfield coverage, but I think they would benefit hugely from the England environment. I’m really excited to work with Adam at Newcastle.

Adam Radwan is a winger who can play the physical role of Jack Nowell this summer

Raffi Quirke

Age 19, scrum half, Sale Sharks

I had never heard of this kid until a few months ago but he’s been on fire. He’s only 19 but he’s clearly learning so much from working underneath Faf de Klerk. For a scrum half, he looks incredibly strong and tough. He is similar to Faf, but with a bigger frame. He’s a livewire around the ruck, a bit like Danny Care, and makes breaks every time he plays. 

Will Capon

Age 21, hooker, Bristol Bears

With Jamie George and Luke Cowan-Dickie both away with the Lions, there’s a big opportunity for a young hooker. Alfie Barbeary was showing X-factor with his carrying before Christmas, but he’s had a few injuries and Capon has kicked on. His lineout basics look strong, he runs sharp support lines and has an eye for an offload.

Miles Reid

Age 22, back row, Bath

He’s a jackal threat, a ball carrier and he works unbelievably hard. They send him up in the lineout, so he looks like a real all-round back-row forward. I read his interview in the Daily Mail and he seems like a rounded character.

Miles Reid has impressed at Bath and is a good ball carrier who works extremely hard

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