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Six Nations

The New England coach is prepared to be faced with Six Nations ‘hate.’

Although Kevin Sinfield acknowledges that England is the least liked team in the Six Nations, he maintains that pride, not animosity, must motivate their comeback.

Sinfield was a devoted spectator of the competition even while he was a rugby league player, but it wasn’t until he spent time with former Scotland players as part of his motor neurone illness fundraising that he truly grasped the bullseye on England’s backs. England’s defence coach thinks that if they are to overcome the lethargy that crept in during the closing parts of the Eddie Jones era, they must find a higher purpose than feeding off “hatred.” On February 4, England will play the Scots in the Six Nations opener at Twickenham.

“I spent some time with some Scottish internationals over the last couple years through some tragic circumstances and it’s not lost on me how much there’s a dislike for us,” Sinfield said. “I understand that. And I understand that that’s quite common across the other nations as well.

“If we’re going to get more youngsters playing our sport then it’s got to be much deeper than building a game plan around teams hating us. I want the team to really, really enjoy putting that white shirt on and really enjoying tearing up trees for each other and doing everything they can to ensure we send a load of people home happy after that first game.”