As the try-scoring BMW Man of the Match in the Scotland game in March last year, Tom Curry made a fine impression for the England U18 side in 2016 during which he played in eight of the nine matches. His debut try for England U20 against France at Exeter in February this year helped his side towards a 59-17 victory. He is the identical twin brother of fellow forward Ben, who packed down in the back row alongside him off the bench in the Scotland match at Stirling County RFC. They both studied at Oundle School, where Tom took A-levels in biology, chemistry and geography. Along with his brother, he signed a contract with Sale Sharks last May. John Olver, their uncle who won three caps as a hooker for England, is master in charge of rugby there and cousin Sam Olver plays for Northampton Saints and represented England at U18 and U20 level.
More was to follow when he Tom became the Old Mutual Wealth Man of the Match against the Barbarians last May after an unusual set of circumstances brought him on to the bench at short notice. Ben, his brother, had withdrawn because of a back spasm, and Tom, who has appeared nine times in the Premiership and scored one try, took his place. The following month, he became the youngest player to start an England international match since Harlequins fly half Colin Laird did so in 1927. He was also his country’s youngest debutant since Jonny Wilkinson came off the bench against Ireland in April 1998 at the age of 18 years and 314 days.
Tom appeared in the first Test against Argentina at San Juan last June five days before his 19th birthday and turned in a rousing performance. He was due to be on the bench for the Argentina match in the opening Old Mutual Series in November but withdrew two days before the game after dislocating a small bone in his left wrist.
The twin brothers were part of the 2014 Bishop Heber High School team, from Malpas, Cheshire who won the All England U16 Sevens tournament and became the first state school to lift the title for 27 years. Their sister Charlotte represented Great Britain U17B at Ultimate Frisbee. Tom said: “My dad David not only introduced me to the game but continues to support me on and off the pitch. Whether he was coach or not I can still hear him from the side-lines!” David represented England Schools, England Students and played for Rosslyn Park and Wasps and was Tom’s head teacher as well as being his club and school coach.
A member of Sale Sharks Academy, he was born in Hounslow and first played at the age of four at Isleworth-based Grasshoppers before moving to Cheshire a year later and being with Crewe & Nantwich for nine seasons. Tom’s mentors are Noel Speed, a former master in charge at rugby at Bishop Heber and David Wilks and Dan Braid at Sale Sharks.
His awards include winning the Trevor Watton Cup as the England U16 Player of the Year. He gained caps in victories over Wales and Scotland at that level three years ago. Tom’s hobbies are table tennis, garden cricket and cats. He has one called Gus, named after Asparagus, the character in Cats, the musical and is a cross between a Bengal and Maine Coon.
Tom’s top player is Francois Louw for his breakdown work, strong running and ability to be a threat in attack and defence. He said: “Most of all his physical nature is something I try to emulate with his adaptability to play across the back row.”
2017 Arg (1R)
5 points – 1T
2017 F, W, I
5 points – 1T
2016 F, S, W, I, W SA Tour: F, SA 'A' (R), SA
Last updated: 12 November 2017