INSPIRATION • September 2023

The travel habits of England Rugby

England prop Kyle Sinckler (30), centre Henry Slade (30), and flanker Sam Underhill (27) are world-class players – but are they brilliant travellers? The trio sat down with The Club during the Summer Nations Series in August to talk in-flight essentials and more

When you’re travelling with the team, is there someone that you’d rather not sit next to on the plane?

Sam Underhill: Any of the other forwards, any of the big men – we take up a lot of shoulder room! 
Henry Slade: I was going to say that. Your shoulders are twice the size of any normal person. If I get to sit next to another back, then I am very lucky. That’s what you’re aiming for. 

Do you have any travel essentials?

Kyle Sinckler: It has to be a neck pillow, as protecting (my neck) for the position I play is important. I also always take an extension lead as you can never have enough plugs.
SU: That’s a pro tip, Sinck! Mine’s also a pillow for the same reason. You get good ones on British Airways flights – there’s not much you want for when you travel with them!
HS: I can’t say a pillow now, can I? I’m diabetic, so I can’t go anywhere without my injection pen. I also like to have an electric diffuser for the room. We’ve used them on previous tours. 

What’s your favourite way to kill time at the airport?

SU: I like to listen to podcasts. Off Menu is good – it’s the food-based one from James Acaster and Ed Gamble (below). They get a lot of good guests on that.


Are you fans of airplane food?

KS: For me, the issue is never the quality of it – it’s the quantity. As long as I can get enough of it, I am a happy man.

Is there anything you try to bring home from your travels?

SU: I collect fridge magnets. I started doing that a few years ago.
HS: I always get a bar of Milka chocolate. That’s a classic airport purchase.

How do you unwind between games?

KS: Sleep.
SU: Some of the boys like to play a bit of golf. 
HS: And there’s a bit of gaming that goes on – Call of Duty, things like that.

inset-table mountain

When you’re travelling with the team, do you get much downtime to go out and explore?

KS: It depends what you’re there for. You tend to get more time off around games than at training camps. Table Mountain (above) in South Africa was really special.
SU: I got to go fishing in Perth in Australia. We did a lot of fishing and not much catching.
HS: We got to travel on the bullet train in Japan up to visit Mount Fuji. We managed to see quite a lot of the country as we were there for eight weeks.


Where have been the favourite places you’ve visited on holiday?

KS: Fiji. It’s such an unbelievably beautiful country and the people were so lovely and welcoming. It was somewhere I had always wanted to go. 
SU: I enjoy being around the Med – places like Sardinia and Sicily. I like the culture, the food, the weather, the scenery.
HS: I like the Greek islands – I went to Mykonos (above) recently. And I also really enjoyed Croatia.


Finally, what’s a dream destination that you haven’t yet visited?

HS: I’ve always fancied the look of the Maldives...
SU: I’d love to go on safari. 
KS: I would love to visit South America: Peru or Bolivia. My fellow England player Anthony Watson had his honeymoon in Botswana and said it was great, so that looks pretty cool. I’d maybe experience a bit of safari, too.
SU: Maybe British Airways will fly us all off on safari then!

British Airways is Official Airline Partner to England Rugby. To learn more about the partnership, click here

This article has been tagged Opinion, Sport