Tom Curry happy to play in any position for England

By Mark Walker, PA
·3 min read

Sale back row Tom Curry insists he does not care what position he plays for England as long as he is pulling on the shirt.

Curry is expected to feature somewhere at the base of England’s scrum on Saturday when they bid to clinch the Six Nations Championship with victory against Italy in Rome.

The 22-year-old began the Six Nations in February as head coach Eddie Jones’ number eight in the absence of Billy Vunipola, but has enjoyed another outstanding season for Sale as flanker.

“I’ll be happy in a white England shirt, whether that’s six, seven, eight, nine, 15 – winning in an England shirt is the best feeling,” Curry said.

Curry, left, operated at number eight in England's previous Six Nations matches
Curry, left, operated at number eight in England’s previous Six Nations matches (David Davies/PA)

England are currently spoilt for choice in the back row following the emergence of a clutch of new candidates pushing for Test recognition.

Flanker Jack Willis is expected to make his first England appearance at some stage in Rome, while Vunipola’s return to fitness after breaking his arm in January could mean Curry reverting to number seven.

“As a back row we work the different combinations,” Curry said. “We’re quite lucky, we have quite a few versatile players and mix it up, making sure we know our role.

“That’s the responsibility of all the players to be honest. Whether you’re a winger that could be a full-back or a centre that might play fly-half – I don’t know too many of those, but you know what I mean.

“Especially in these circumstances we’ve got to make sure we’re adaptable.”

Wasps flanker Willis is the current players’ player of the year, while Worcester’s Ted Hill and Bristol’s Ben Earl help complete a formidable England back-row group.

“It’s brilliant us having lots of back rows,” Curry said. “We’re able to learn a lot off each other and especially in such a physically demanding position.

“We keep pushing each other and making each other better. It might be 50 minutes into the session, but we’ve got people pushing and pushing and pushing and that’s the beauty of having strength in numbers.”

Wasps’ Jack Willis, top, is hoping to make his Test debut in Rome
Wasps’ Jack Willis, top, is hoping to make his Test debut in Rome (Mike Egerton/PA)

Curry’s twin brother and Sale skipper Ben’s bid for England recognition, after a fine season for his club, were dashed in September when he sustained an ankle injury.

“When it’s your brother you don’t want to see them injured at all, or any other players, it’s a tough time for them,” Curry added.

“But he’s handling it really well. He’s back running. He’s excited for what’s to come really.”

Gloucester scrum-half Willi Heinz has been ruled out of Saturday’s finale due to a leg injury, with Northampton’s Alex Mitchell drafted in as cover for Ben Youngs and Dan Robson.

Youngs is expected to win his 100th England cap in Rome, while hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie, winger Jack Nowell, full-back Elliot Daly, fly-half George Ford and prop Joe Marler had already been ruled out through injury.