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Monday, 06 July 2015

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Cumbria's Leeds ace James Tincknell tipped to reach top again

A year on from a life-threatening car crash Cumbrian James Tincknell is understandably still finding his rugby feet but former British and Irish Lion John Bentley believes the wing’s attitude will propel him back to where he once was sooner rather than later.

James Tincknell photo
James Tincknell

Leeds’ relegation from the Premiership last year paled into insignificance when in February last year Tincknell, from Papcastle, near Cockermouth, spent a month in a medically induced coma after suffering serious head injuries in a crash on the A66.

However January saw the 23-year-old lace his boots again, returning to Wharfedale on loan, the club he was at when he first caught Leeds’ eye with 15 tries in 19 starts.

Three tries in eight National One starts shows Tincknell is on the mend, looking to get back to the form that had many tipping him as one of the brightest young hopes of English rugby.

At the front of that queue was Leeds’ community marketing manager Bentley, and although admitting that he has some way to go physically, the former Lions wing is adamant Tincknell’s mental strength will see him get there.

“It has been a challenging year for James as he went back out to Wharfedale for a little bit of rugby which was brilliant for him after everything that happened,” Bentley said.

“The important thing with Tincks is that he’s still alive. Forget about the rugby for a second, he didn’t die and he could so easily have.

“But in terms of his progress I don’t know where he’s at right now and how far away he’s from demonstrating the high potential he was capable of before the accident.

“Before everything happened James was on course to do big things at Leeds and the skill set is still there but obviously physically James has some catching up to do.

“But there’s absolutely no question about whether he wants to or not. His attitude is to get right back in there and with that determination I wouldn’t bet against him – no way.”


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