Tom Curry was a victim of his own eagerness for contact during the July tour to Australia.
Despite his absence in the majority of the Test series, Curry is fit again and raring to go, both for Sale and England.
In a positive mindset
Planet Rugby’s James While caught up with the Lions openside during England’s October training camp, who seemed in fine spirits and emphasised the success of the tour, despite his absence:
“In terms of England winning down in Australia, it’s a huge feat in itself let alone after what had happened in the season before during the Six Nations,” Curry said.
“That was the big thing going into that tour and you have to park something like that. Obviously you have to take your learnings on why it didn’t quite go to plan, but then you have to push on with the exciting challenges you have ahead and I think that’s where we took real strides forward in Australia.
“As long as you’re able to get better and take that into what’s coming up in the autumn I think that’s really important. Winning down in Australia was good, but you can’t get too ahead of yourself. It’s different opposition coming up (in November) and you have to look at it differently.”
In terms of being stood down after failing an HIA in the First Test, Curry believes it was for the right reasons and trusts the medical advice on hand both with England and with Sale:
“It is what it is and I know my welfare was put first,” he commented.
“It shows the way rugby is going and the progression it’s making. If the research backs the protocols I went through then I’m all for it. At the end of the day my job is to play rugby. That’s what I focus on and if something comes out that helps players in the long term then brilliant and it’s a positive.
“At the end of the day rugby is being put into a better spot with research and what’s going on. I’ve got full confidence in my long-term health. I’ll let the scientists take care of that and let’s crack on and play rugby.
“The game is evolving; I am aware I need to score more tries, and have been trying my best! Every generation, the requirements of back row play are changing. The youngsters like Tom Pearson and so on have their own way- they’re really multi-faceted players and that drives everyone around them to do the same.
“As a flanker, I am always in the middle of the action defensively- but now you do need to upskill yourself for those attacks from transitional play; one minute I can be defending next to a prop, the next minute I could be the support man for a winger- and as an openside it’s very important to be that link player.
“The big message from Eddie is that of adaptability- not only reacting to the way the game is changing in front of you but being able to do the role of 6,7 and 8,” Curry said.
With Sale unbeaten in the 2022/2023 season and with three wins from three games, Curry is delighted with his domestic form and thoroughly enjoyed his Premiership time so far.
Does it help to bring Sale confidence to England?
“Not necessarily. I’ve been in England squads when Sale have been at the bottom of the table, and I’ve still felt fine. Sale has made significant strides though We talk about results a lot but the biggest thing is the feeling within the squad.
“The personalities and the way we want to play are both very exciting for us and that’s what we can get behind this season.
That’s the thing about club and country – you have that and it’s your day to day but when you come to an England camp it’s about dropping that and doing what England want. There are different players and everything changes.
“So it’s about your ability to drop that and focus on the tournament or, even like thus morning, the assault course at Thorpe Park where we’ve been chasing big inflatable balls around as part of our bonding and rehab. That’s the exciting thing at a camp like this, where it’s fresh and we’ve had a great time today.”