Bristol Bears tighthead prop Kyle Sinckler gave an emotional speech following Friday night’s dramatic win over Bath at Ashton Gate.
The 28-year-old was awarded man of the match after helping Bristol to their first victory of the season with a 25-20 win in the West Country derby.
This was Sinckler’s first game back after returning from the British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa and his emotion spilled over in his post match interview.
“It’s special, especially in front of basically a sellout derby,” said Sinckler, who joined the Bears from Harlequins in 2020.
“I felt I had a duty to step up for the boys as a man. It’s not been the best start to the season, and for myself I couldn’t just sit there in the meetings and train all the time and then just watch the boys every weekend. I had to contribute, and I wanted to put my hand up and put my body on the line.”
Bristol lost their opening two games of the Premiership season and were bottom of the league going into the game on Friday night.
This is what it means to play for Bristol 🐻
This is what it means to play rugby ❤️
Pure class from @KyleSinckler on holding yourself accountable and stepping up for the team.ADVERTISEMENT
Top bloke 👏 pic.twitter.com/l5D0gCvx5s
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) October 1, 2021
Sinckler added: “I was pretty rusty out there, I was blowing at times. But sometimes it’s just about sacrificing yourself for the team and your brothers. Hopefully I showed the fans how much it means to me because being honest, I love the game, I love playing and I love the process.
“I know there was a mandatory rest period for returning players and Christian Day [RPA player liaison officer] has done a great job trying to protect us, but I pride myself on being virtuous and I try to be committed in everything I do.”
The front rower now has six Lions caps to his name across the two most recent tours to New Zealand and South Africa to go alongside his 47 appearances for England.