Kyle Sinckler eyes England return for 2027 Rugby World Cup

Kyle Sinckler – Kyle Sinckler eyes England return for 2027 Rugby World Cup
Kyle Sinckler won the most recent of his 68 England caps at the Rugby World Cup in France - Getty Images/David Rogers

Kyle Sinckler has suggested that he will target selection for the 2027 Rugby World Cup after scrummaging against “the best and the biggest” during his upcoming stint with Toulon.

Sinckler signed off for Bristol Bears in a 53-28 victory over Harlequins, his former club, on Saturday. Despite another free-flowing performance from Pat Lam’s charges, Sale Sharks’ defeat of Saracens left Bristol agonisingly short of the play-offs.

Admitting to a “bittersweet” afternoon in an interview with ITV Sport, Sinckler laid out his reasons for a move across The Channel. The 31-year-old tighthead prop has not represented England since winning a 68th cap off the bench in last year’s World Cup semi-final.

South Africa battled back from a 15-6 deficit to go through, thanks largely to a series of set-piece penalties. Sinckler was subsequently left out of England’s 2024 Six Nations campaign and has cited scrummaging as a chief reason for joining Toulon.

“I would say this last half of the season has been the most enjoyable since maybe 2019,” he explained. “I want to just get back that love for the game and get back to my best, which is playing what I see and instinctive rugby. I know, when I am on my game, that there are not many who come close. It’s for me to do that week-in and week-out.

“The decision for me to go to France was that I want to test myself against the best and the biggest in the scrum… and you’re going to get that every week in the Top 14.

“There has been a lot of trial and error for me as well. I’ve been very grateful for the coaches I’ve had at Quins and the coaches I’ve had at Bristol. I hold my hand up, I haven’t been the easiest of players [to coach], but in terms of my maturity, it’s about accepting it and taking full responsibility.

“I have probably been my own worst enemy and now I’m coming into the peak of my career. They say with props you age like a fine wine, so I’ll be learning my trade and testing myself against the best week-in, week-out for the next three years and then I’ll come back in 2027 and I’ll be ready to go.”

Sinckler, who is heading to Toulon with Lewis Ludlam to join another England international in David Ribbans, would have to secure a contract with a Premiership club to feature for England in 2027, if current regulations are still in place.

He will be 34 years old at the next World Cup. Dan Cole, however, was 36 at the 2023 edition, which showcased other veteran props such as Trevor Nyakane, James Slipper (both 34), Francisco Fernandes and Francisco Gómez Kodela (both 38).

Back in January, upon confirming that Sinckler was not in his plans for the 2024 Six Nations, Steve Borthwick hinted at a return for the tighthead prop.

“Do I think Kyle Sinckler will be back in the squad at some point in the future?” said the England head coach. “I’m pretty sure he will be and I sense a determination from him to go after the aspects we discussed.”

Telegraph Sport understands that James Harper, the Sale Sharks tighthead, is under consideration for the Tests against Japan and New Zealand later this year, with Cole and Will Stuart having shared the load in that position during the Six Nations.