Director of rugby Conor O’Shea has backed Kyle Sinckler to make a big impression for England in New Zealand.
The young tight-head got a last minute ticket for the plane bound for a three Test series against the All Blacks after impressing in England’s 39-29 defeat to the Barbarians at Twickenham on Sunday.
The 21-year-old is not eligible for Saturday’s first Test because of jet-lag protocol, but O’Shea revealed he would not be surprised if his man got a taste of the action at some stage.
“A coach in Ireland once told me you are only an injury away from getting a chance when you are on tour. There are only so many tight-head props you can take out there,” he said.
“This is going to be great for his development and is an outstanding opportunity to get great experience.”
Sinckler’s call means eight Harlequins – including Mike Brown, Danny Care, Joe Marler, captain Chris Robshaw and new signing Marland Yarde – are vying to feature against the All Blacks.
Brown, Care, Robshaw, Marler and Yarde will start Saturday’s first Test, while hooker Joe Gray is among the placements.
And while O’Shea admits the experience will only do his side’s title chances next term the power of good, he wants his men to return in one piece.
“We have cleared the decks in terms of injuries in the squad, so we are ready for next year. I just hope the others don’t get injured, now,” he added.
“We’ve blooded so many youngsters in adversity this year, it is only going to stand us in good stead. People like Charlie Matthews and Will Collier have played a lot of rugby and will make us stronger.”