Kyle Sinckler playing against Chile

Rugby World Cup: England v Samoa – Kyle Sinckler eyes ‘last dance’ shot at glory

Kyle Sinckler playing against ChileKyle Sinckler has overcome a pectoral injury to play his part in England’s Rugby World Cup campaignRugby World Cup Pool D: England v SamoaVenue: Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Lille Date: Saturday, 7 October Kick-off: 16:45 BSTCoverage: Commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live, plus text updates on the BBC Sport website and app

Kyle Sinckler has warned his England team-mates that they will never have an opportunity like France 2023 again.

Sinckler is one of several players, such as Owen Farrell, Jamie George, Manu Tuilagi and Courtney Lawes, who have passed their 30th birthday.

Jack Willis, David Ribbans, Henry Arundell and Joe Marchant will play in France next year and may be ineligible.

“It has been mentioned – the ‘last dance’. It makes everyone aware how special this is,” said Sinckler.

“It will never happen again.”

Sinckler was part of the England side that finished runners-up at the 2019 tournament in Japan, suffering an extra twist of personal disappointment after being forced out of the final defeat by South Africa by a second-minute concussion.

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“The moment where I was really, really sad was arriving back at Heathrow and saying our goodbyes to each other,” Sinckler told BBC Sport.

“We knew deep down that this squad will never be the same again, coaches move on and players move on, the team changes and saying those final goodbyes after coming so close was quite heart-breaking.

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Kyle Sinckler and George Kruis push baggage trollies through Heathrow airportSinckler arrives back at Heathrow after England’s 2019 Rugby World Cup final defeat, alongside George Kruis, who won the last of his England caps four months later

“Hopefully this time around, those goodbyes will be goodbyes of joy, rather than regret.

“If you know within yourself you have given everything in this experience, that you haven’t cut any corners and you have done everything you can, and you weren’t good enough – sometimes that is just the way it is.

“We are just trying to appreciate every moment.”

England are already assured of a place in the quarter-finals before their final Pool D match against Samoa on Saturday.

They are likely to face Fiji in the last eight and have benefited from a draw that will keep them away from the top five sides in the world rankings until the semi-finals at least.

But Sinckler insists England will not be looking beyond Samoa and a reunion with two of his Bristol club team-mates – Steven Luatua and Chris Vui.

Sinckler and Bristol team-mate Chris Vui pose after their European Challenge Cup final win over Toulon in 2020Sinckler and Bristol team-mate Chris Vui after their European Challenge Cup final win over Toulon in 2020

“They are two massively physical players, great line-out options, great hands, good offloading skills, but honestly, off the field, they are literally the most chilled-out personalities you will ever meet, they are really really cool guys,” Sinckler added.

“Don’t be fooled by their demeanour though, they can definitely flick the switch and when it is time to go, those guys can really go.”

From the back of the bar to the front row

Sinckler, 30, says he has a better sense of perspective on the tournament having experienced 2019 up close after missing out in 2015, when he had been an uncapped prospect in England training squads, but was not ultimately picked in Stuart Lancaster’s final tournament selection.

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“There is a massive sense of gratitude and appreciation to be here,” he said.

“I remember in 2015 watching England play Fiji in the opening game of that World Cup.

“We had a social at [then club] Harlequins and I was sat next to [former Wales prop] Adam Jones, who had just joined.

“He was just trying to have a quiet pint and I was chewing his ear off.

“I was like, ‘I want to get there, I know I can play for England, I know I can be there’ and he was like, ‘Calm down, you will be fine, just keep listening to me son.’

“One thing with my experience of World Cups and big Tests is the importance of being focused on the ‘now’.

“All our focus is just the Samoa game, we don’t want to look too far ahead because, the moment you take your eye off the ball, that is when you are in a bit of trouble.”

Hear more from Sinckler on Saturday’s episode of the Rugby Union Daily podcast on BBC Sounds.