England prop Kyle Sinckler admits more players could follow Owen Farrell and take a break from international rugby
- Owen Farrell to step away to protect ‘his and his family’s mental well-being’
- He will miss the Six Nations – leading to doubts about his international future
- Kyle Sinckler said the decision was no shock, given the burden he has endured
Kyle Sinckler has admitted that he can envisage other England players following Owen Farrell’s lead by stepping away from their Test careers.
The veteran Bristol prop was asked if Farrell’s decision, to protect ‘his and his family’s mental well-being’, could become a trend and he told the BBC: ‘I wouldn’t be surprised.
‘It’s only the beginning, if you look at the work-load players go through, especially the international players. It is a privilege to play for your country, but it comes with a lot of responsibility and I think the support system around that could be a lot better.’
According to Sinckler, last week’s revelation that Farrell will voluntarily miss the Six Nations – leading to doubts about his international future – was no great shock, given the burden he has endured.
‘Professional sport is a pressure cooker, but when you’re playing for England it’s more heightened,’ said the Lions tighthead. ‘Then when you are the captain, and the fly-half, even more so. So I am surprised but not surprised.
Kyle Sinckler says more players will follow Owen Farrell’s lead and take a break from Test rugby
Owen Farrell to take a step away from England duty to prioritise his family’s mental well-being
‘Knowing Faz, for him to actually say, “Look, I’m not right”, then something must be up because that guy will go to battle no matter what. Hopefully he gets the help he needs and the rest he deserves.’
George North has finalised terms to join rising French club Provence next summer, on a two-year deal. The 31-year-old Wales back will remain eligible for his country when he makes the move to the side currently lying second in the Pro D2 and striving for promotion to the Top 14 league for the 2024-25 campaign.
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