Ben Curry on Twin Tom, injuries and England: “Pocock, Hooper, McCaw – the best sevens play with high intensity”

If the old story about twins feeling each other’s pain is true, then think of the Curry brothers. Perhaps in the darkest days of recovery, Ben and Tom even wondered if there was some kind of curse on the family name – that’s what it’s been like for a couple who appear to have a timeshare on the treatment table.

The 11-month injury layoff began before the Six Nations when Tom was sidelined for at least the first two rounds due to a hamstring injury, opening the door for Ben to be included in the England squad for the opening game against Scotland. Another seizure. Tom returned, but only for a short time – Ben was soon back at camp after his brother tweaked his other Achilles tendon.

Then it was Ben’s turn, leaving Sale Sharks’ Premiership semi-final win over Leicester on a stretcher. This hamstring injury was so serious that he no longer had a chance of breaking into Steve Borthwick’s World Cup squad. Add to that Tom’s ankle injury in August, his sending off against Argentina, and everything that happened the week of the World Cup final, and the Currys could certainly share their experiences with the Baudelaire siblings about their own series of unfortunate events.

This week the final blow came: Tom’s hip needs repair; His season for club and country is over. The hard times continue.

Ben Curry had to face a long layoff after suffering a serious hamstring injury earlier this year


“It’s really unfortunate for Tom,” says Ben at the start of the new Investec Champions Cup season. The couple still lives together – they are considering remodeling the room to move Tom down from the top floor. “It’s tough for him after the injury before the World Cup, but with the person he is he will come back stronger. “I have no doubt he will come back from this situation.”

“The only advice I would give him is to take the first few weeks to recover, not just physically but mentally. He’s played a lot of rugby over the last few years and it really challenges you.

“(I would advise him) to take it as it is, to take the time away from the game so that when you come back you can really pursue it.” It’s a good opportunity to get better, bigger, stronger and faster become. You have five months, so if he gets it right it can make a difference in how he plays and also his longevity.”

Both have indicated that their injury concerns are a regular part of the sport, especially for two men who excel at putting their heads and shoulders in places best left untouched. Ben’s torn hamstring, for example, occurred when he won a Jackal turnover – “The penalty was the saving grace of all that; If I hadn’t gotten it, I would have been mad” — and the turnover rate for open-side pickups is perhaps higher than for any other position.

Both Curry twins have struggled with injuries in 2023

(Getty Images for Sale Sharks)

Not that Ben will change his playing style. “Not at the moment – ​​maybe in a few years,” he explains. “For me, the best sevens play like that. It’s about being more committed, being powerful and working a lot and with high intensity. If you look at David Pocock, Michael Hooper or Richie McCaw in their heyday, they did the same thing. It’s tough, but I don’t think there’s any way to really get around it as a seven or even a six.”

The twins’ struggles are a reminder of the physical demands placed on professional rugby players, but it is also a mental challenge. Tom Curry and the rest of the family have been subjected to “unacceptable” abuse after the flanker claimed South Africa hooker Bongi Mbonambi directed a racist insult at him during the World Cup semi-final. His brother is understandably reluctant to approach the subject, but the implications are clear.

Their injury concerns mean the pair are yet to fulfill their dream of playing together for England, with Ben’s back spasm in 2017 originally opening the door for his brother to embark on a landmark tour of Argentina. It’s the nature of being identical twins that they have similar abilities – it’s not necessarily easy to squeeze them into the same back row.

But club captain Ben thrived at the openside last season while Tom reinvented himself as a wide-carrier blindside as Sale reached the Premiership final. Alex Sanderson’s side are doing well again this season – league leaders Sharks face second-placed Bath on Friday night – and the prospect of playing on the wings in a white jersey continues to fuel Ben’s bid to return to England Mix.

Ben during the Premiership semi-final against Leicester

(Getty Images for Sale Sharks)

“I did it alone, but I want to do it with Tom. To be honest, one of the biggest motivations for me is to play for England with Tom. This is a big motivating factor for me. The day I can’t play with Tom for England I would seriously consider my options. In order to achieve this goal, I would have to evaluate a few things.

“Having lived through this time as a player for England gives me confidence. I had an international match against America a few years ago and I probably thought, ‘That’s not all.’ International rugby is these big games against Ireland, France and the Six Nations teams. That was always my goal. The opportunity to get involved and gain experience is very important for my self-confidence. (I want to) really get started now. That is the goal.”

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