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Kyle Sinckler: Snus harmed my performance and cost me England place

England's Kyle Sinckler/Snus harmed my performance and cost me England place
Kyle Sinckler said that snus was 'not good for your performance' - Getty Images/Julian Finney

Kyle Sinckler believes that his use of snus affected his performances for England and played a part in his eventual exit from Steve Borthwick’s squad following the Rugby World Cup.

Sinckler, who will join Toulon in France next season, revealed on The Good, The Bad & The Rugby podcast that “there was loads of other things that were happening behind the scenes, loads of habits that I was doing that were not conducive to being a world-class athlete, that kind of all came out after”.

Asked to elaborate, Sinckler said that he started taking snus as a younger player when he was losing weight, and that the smokeless tobacco product helped to suppress his appetite.

The British and Irish Lions prop added that snus was “very addictive” and “not good for your performance”, before admitting that it contradicted his work being a role model on social media. Sinckler has previously worked with Saviour World, the men’s mentoring organisation also used by Danny Cipriani and James O’Connor.

“In terms of like where I want to be and the person, the man I want to become, I can’t be saying one thing on the socials and putting out a message like that. And then behind closed doors, I’m acting like a victim, the world’s against me and I’m doing snus,” Sinckler said. “The whole thing is just... it doesn’t work like that, you know? So it’s like at the end of the day, I’ve reaped what I sowed, you know?”

Jonny May, the former England wing speaking on the same podcast, described Sinckler’s admission as “powerful... because a lot of people in rugby are hooked on this stuff. I don’t know enough about it, but it can’t be good for us”.

An exclusive interview with Sinckler by Telegraph Sport will be published next week.