Springboks Provide Acid Test Despite Tom Curry’s Unstoppable Mantra | England rugby union team
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“I know that sounds like the biggest cliché in the book, ”said Tom Curry during a break between training with the England team in Jersey and a collective sigh from a small group of journalists clinging to his every word . “But we can only focus on the next game.”
This is the problem with the clichés. They are generally true. England open their fall testing campaign against Tonga at Twickenham on Saturday. Curry is right to recognize that the team should not take the lead before a first course that preludes to tastier dishes, meetings with Australia and South Africa. “Tonga will bring their physique and pace and they can cause us problems,” Curry adds.
Sale’s flanker has just been asked if Eddie Jones’ team has any unfinished business ahead of the Springboks test on November 20. The 23-year-old started all three games in the British and Irish Lions’ dying campaign and was voted young player of the tournament after the Springboks beat England in the World Cup final.
If anyone can be described as a permanent fixture on Jones’ side, it’s the esteemed Curry, whose breakdown strength and footballing skills make him unmissable. “No. Every game is an unfinished business. There is no feeling of frustration after the Lions tour. We parked that one.
He knows Tonga, whom England are used to meeting in the World Cup, will be a challenge despite one of their key players, opener Kurt Morath, who turns 37 next month. The team coached by Toutai Kefu plays mainly in France. Tongan rugby may be short of money, but it won’t lack motivation. England have already put 101 points ahead of Tonga, but it’s more likely we’ll see a game like Sapporo’s two years ago, when Jones’ side made a blistering World Cup debut ahead of defeat Islanders 35-3.
Manu Tuilagi’s power was vital for this game in 2019 and England fans are hoping the Curry’s Sale teammate can rekindle his old fire this fall. Tuilagi is now 30 years old and his career has been horribly cut short by injuries, but if Jones pairs him with Gloucester’s equally powerful center Mark Atkinson next weekend the Tonga defense will have their work cut out for them and there could be a rumbling under the turf at Twickenham.
Curry, meanwhile, continues to embellish his reputation at the bottom row, where the stock of broke-down experts in England continues to grow day by day. He and Maro Itoje were mentioned as the future captains of England at the end of Owen Farrell’s tenure. What does he see as his leadership skills? “I think it’s about being yourself. About being genuine, not trying to be Winston Churchill. I try not to think too much and learn something from every game I play, ”is his measured response.
Curry has now played 33 of those games for England as well as all three summer tests for the Lions since becoming the youngest player to debut as a flanker for England and the youngest player in nearly of a century when it lost to Argentina four years ago.
Who Jones picks from his back row this fall will be instructive. A combination of Curry, Sam Simmonds and Sam Underhill will bring a lot of dynamism but won’t pose a massive threat to the ball’s transport. Jones could also choose a combination of Alex Dombrandt at No.8 and Lewis Ludlam at No.7, both in excellent form for their clubs, with Courtney Lawes at No.6 where he played for the Lions and continues to play. for his club Northampton.
It’s an embarrassment of wealth, especially since two other suitors – Wasps duo Alfie Barbeary and Jack Willis – will be in the mix as they recover from injuries, while contenders such as Ben Earl at Saracens and underrated Worcester rear rower Ted Hill was recently dismissed by England head coach.
Either way, it’s hard to see Billy Vunipola return to this England squad in the near future. Vunipola will remain in the display case opposite Twickenham on Sunday afternoon when the Saracens hope to put one on defending English champions Harlequins. Jones’ abandonment of the Vunipola brothers made headlines but, in truth, it probably should have happened sooner. Billy was out of shape last World Cup and hasn’t changed colors since.
Vunipolas teammate Jamie George has more reason to hold a grudge but can at least make his point after Luke Cowan-Dickie’s ankle injury ruled him out for the fall and the admirable hooker des Saracens was reinstated in the squad.
It would make sense if Sydney-born Leicester hooker Nic Dolly, who once lived with Tom and his twin brother Ben during a stint at Sale, would start against Tonga and George to regain his No.2 spot at the top of the league. ‘England against Australia and the South. Africa.
The Wallabies, meanwhile, have been hit by a number of withdrawals from their squad by their Japan-based players while the Springboks have been hit with injuries, including to their wing Cheslin Kolbe and their Curry’s Sale teammate, Faf from Klerk. The absence of the evergreen Quade Cooper, Samu Kerevi and Sean McMahon is a blow to the Wallabies, but once again it will be the Springboks who provide the acid test for England in front of new welcome crowds at Twickenham.
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