- Curry brothers first set of twins to start for England
- Will both line up against Ireland on Friday
To everyone else England Under 20 duo Ben and Tom Curry are identical. The twins even play in the same position. However, the sports mad pair who are both set to play against Ireland on Friday are quick to point out their differences.
“His nose sticks out a bit more,” Tom said of his brother.
“Apparently my face used to be rounder but I think his is now. Ben’s put on a bit of fat.”
Nephews to former England hooker John Olver, and cousin to Northampton Saints fly-half Sam Olver, these brothers could one day earn themselves a little piece of history – England have never fielded a set of identical twins in the same team at Twickenham.
The 18 year-old 6ft 2in Cheshire lads, who both inked a five year deal with Sale Sharks at the beginning of March, may play in the same position, but the twins again feel they are very different.
“I get more turnovers than you,” claimed Ben. But with eyes widening in disbelief Tom replied within a second.
“Well I get more counter-rucks but we’re both good at ball carrying," he said. "Defensively Ben likes to chop and I like to go for big tackles.”
The duo have 26 senior appearances for Sale between them, and made Aviva Premiership history last November by becoming only the fourth set of twins to play side-by-side in the competition. Tom also became the youngest player ever to score a try in the Premiership, when he touched down against Bristol last October.
Both were selected for the England U20s squad to contest the Six Nations this year, and made instant impacts. Tom featured in the opening two fixtures - scoring a debut try against France at Sandy Park - whilst Ben was awarded consecutive man of the match awards. Firstly, in the 42-7 win over Italy and again in last weekend's triumph over Scotland.
U20s ENG 12 - 0 ITA— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) February 24, 2017
27' TRY! @SaleSharksRugby flanker Ben Curry crashes over and England have their second of the night. Con missed.
"The lads put in a great shift," Ben said after the win. "We knew Scotland were going to hit us hard in that opening 20 minutes and I thought we weathered that storm very well which shows the character of this team."
Identical twins are incredibly rare in rugby with the only modern examples being the Ndungane brothers from South Africa and the Fainga’a brothers from Australia.
The other rarity about the situation is just how identical they really are, the most valuable piece of information regarding their appearances is that Ben and Tom swipe their hair in different directions.
However, Tom provided a much more useful difference between their appearances.
“He’s got the worst side profile. His nose sticks out a bit more,” and according to their cousin Sam “It looks like Voldemort from Harry Potter”
Their bond is clear to see as is their sibling rivalry.
After arguing about whether the most pints of milk they had in their fridge at one time was 58 or 64, one of them simply responded: “I wouldn’t say it’s arguing, no I wouldn’t call it bickering, it’s competitive talking.”
Football & table tennis
The brothers grew up playing for Crewe & Nantwich RUFC, and although rugby is their trade, the pair have been known to also dabble in football and table tennis.
"We played football once and actually really enjoyed it," said Tom. "We both used to play centre back together at our old school but then somehow Ben moved to midfield which I didn't really get."
The one item they both wished to have if they were marooned on a desert Island is a table-tennis table.
“The last time we played table tennis at Christmas I beat him and I won so I wanted to bring it up, that’s why we haven’t played since,” added Tom.
Slowest batsman in Oundle's history
Oundle’s head coach is former England hooker, John Olver - uncle to the Curry Twins, and he guided the brothers through school rugby.
“We were lucky in that because there was two of us we could influence more of what our team done, and John let us do that," said Tom. "We would take stuff from England and Sale and embed it into school games and practice them.”
The pair remember playing cricket during their summer terms at school, however Ben didn't enjoy his uncle’s company during the season.
“He was bad luck in cricket; every time he came I didn't score.”
But Tom provided a different reason for Ben’s limited run rate. “He was the slowest number three batsman Oundle has ever had.”
Grand Slam glory
England have won all four of their games in the tournament so far, and although they've already been crowned Six Nations champions, the squad travel to Ireland on Friday with an opportunity to clinch a Grand Slam.
"It's all about the team performance, and we're looking forward to a big game against Ireland next week," Ben added. "They will be passionate and physical and we'll have to be well prepared for that challenge on Friday."