Rugby World Cup 2023: Kevin Sinfield insists England don’t have a discipline problem

England coach and Leeds Rhinos legend Kevin Sinfield has dismissed suggestions that England have a discipline problem at the Rugby World Cup, following the news that Tom Curry is to face a two-game ban against Japan and Chile

        Rugby World Cup 2023: Kevin Sinfield insists England don't have a discipline problem

Kevin Sinfield has defended England’s discipline and says Tom Curry’s red card against Argentina was ‘unfortunate’

England defence coach Kevin Sinfield has dismissed suggestions that there is a discipline problem among the players, but admits they are getting used to playing with 14 men.

The former Leeds Rhinos legend was speaking in a media conference, reacting to the news that England back-row Tom Curry had been handed a two-game ban for his Rugby World Cup red card against Argentina for a head-on-head high tackle.

“I think it’s tough given the changes – discipline-wise,” said Sinfield.

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“We gave away seven penalties at the weekend, but I don’t think we’ve got a discipline problem.”

This is a World Cup utilising a new ‘bunker’ review system. Yellow cards are reviewed for 10 minutes and the bunker referee has the power to upgrade the yellow to a red. Sinfield felt England were “unfortunate” with what happened in Marseille on Saturday night.

“I don’t think it’s different to the other challenges that have been taking place,” said Sinfield.

        Rugby World Cup 2023: Kevin Sinfield insists England don't have a discipline problem

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“We’ve got to understand that it’s part of the sport and unfortunately, we’ve had to deal with four in six and not just three in four [red cards].

“We understand and we’re getting pretty good at defending with 14 men, but we want to have everybody, our full complement at all times. So we’ll look to improve that area, but it’s tricky to pinpoint exactly what that is.”

Curry is the third England player in a month to be red-carded and serve a ban.

Four weeks ago at Twickenham, England skipper Farrell caught Wales flanker Taine Basham direct to the face with a high tackle, using a technique that has got him into bother previously. Farrell was shown a red card.

        Rugby World Cup 2023: Kevin Sinfield insists England don't have a discipline problem

Sky Sports News’ James Cole provides an update from England’s training camp as Steve Borthwick’s side continue their preparations for Sunday’s clash with Japan

Three weeks ago in Dublin, England No 8 Billy Vunipola was dismissed for a shoulder-to-head tackle on Ireland prop Andrew Porter, in which he made no attempt to wrap his arm.

Curry’s ban means he will miss the World Cup Pool D matches against Japan (September 17) and Chile (September 23).

The 25-year-old accepted he had committed a red card offence at the hearing, and saw an initial six-week suspension mitigated down to three weeks, and then two weeks, with the RFU confirming Curry will attend a Coaching Intervention Programme in lieu of missing a third match.

‘Better spirits in the camp’ despite Curry ban

        Rugby World Cup 2023: Kevin Sinfield insists England don't have a discipline problem

England were training again at their Le Touquet base on Wednesday

Speaking during England training on Tuesday, Sky Sports News’ James Cole said:

“The news in the camp last night was that Tom Curry has received a two-match ban for the red card that he’d picked up in the third minute against Argentina for a high tackle. He’ll miss Sunday’s game and also the game against Chile as well.

“But England are boosted by the return of Billy Vunipola, who’s finishing his suspension. He’ll be back and available for England – he’ll come into the back row, Curry drops out.

        Rugby World Cup 2023: Kevin Sinfield insists England don't have a discipline problem

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“We saw yesterday how much energy there seems to be and how better spirits are in the camp after that win against Argentina. It’s been a huge result for them, after a lot of pressure on the team in the build-up to this World Cup.

“How many changes will England make apart from Curry? Not many, I think, if any.

“We heard yesterday from Richard Wigglesworth, the England attack coach, and he said ‘continuity is key’. We don’t know but we suspect that the back line will remain the same.”