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In the rare occasions that Kyle Sinckler addresses the media, such as in this weekend’s deeply emotional interview with BT Sport, he never fails to address his work with Saviour World, a men’s mentoring organisation.
“I'm not going to lie, I'm quite emotional right now," Sinckler said of his omission from the Lions squad on Saturday. “It's been tough. It means so much to me. I'm just lucky I've got my mentor at Saviour World and we broke it down. I kind of understand the reasons why.”
From the outside looking in, it can be hard to ascertain the purpose of Saviour World with a website that features lots of new-age slogans and anime style cartoons where all the men have muscles popping out of muscles. However, as well as helping prop Sinckler, Saviour World have previously supported fly half Danny Cipriani and Australian back James O’Connor, who credits their work for helping him to play at the 2019 World Cup.
The male-only organisation was founded by Ollie Pryce-Tidd after he suffered an adrenal fatigue having burnt the candle at both ends trying to combine a semi-professional rugby career with running a London nightclub. Speaking to the Telegraph Sport in 2019, he explained: “On paper, (my lifestyle) would have looked great. But it was destroying me because it wasn’t my purpose. I feel like I was destroyed so that I could understand the lowest level of vibration.”
Saviour World’s doctrine is based on 27 practices, nine for body, mind and soul. It offers a paid public membership but also engages in direct mentoring with athletes. In his work with Pryce-Tidd, O’Connor engaged in heat exhaustion exercises as well as meditation and sensory deprivation. Male-only clubs tend to have gained a bad press in recent times, but in interviews Pryce-Tidd has said that is because men need more help with their mental health.
A key part of its message is a no-blame culture, which was reflected in Sinckler’s searingly honest interview after Bristol Bears’ 40-20 victory over Bath. “I think, in a year or two, I'll look back and it'll all make sense. Right now, it doesn't make sense,” Sinckler said. “What I wanted to do was lead by example and show the kids. How easy would it have been for me to play the victim, say 'sorry me' and throw my toys out of the pram?”
That interview struck a cord with Adam Jones, Sinckler's former mentor at Harlequins. Jones joined Harlequins in 2015, first as a player before become the scrum coach, specifically to work with Sinckler, whom he has seen flourish into England’s first choice tighthead prop. His absence from Warren Gatland’s 37-man squad shocked Jones but he says Sinckler’s response demonstrated his true character.
“I text him after the squad came out and I text him on Saturday. . . I don't want to say what I said, but I have spent a lot of time with Kyle and he is probably the main reason I came to Quins - to work with him, mentor and help him as much as I could,” Jones said.
“What I will say, I have been incredibly proud of him many times for this club. And on Saturday, that surpassed everything - the way he spoke, putting it all out there - I understand his emotion.
“And when you are emotionally attached to a kid like that and he was putting it all on the line - it was tough to watch, but it also shows how much he has grown as a bloke. I was incredibly proud of him on Saturday. Do I think I should have toured? Yes, he should be on the tour. Do I think he will probably get a call-up if someone gets injured? Hopefully, yes.
“The way he dealt with himself with a man-of-the-match performance shows how much he has grown up since that annoying little kid I first came across when I came here six years ago.”