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England ready to throw Tom Curry in at deep end for Rugby World Cup opener

England ready to throw Tom Curry in at deep end for Rugby World Cup opener

England are prepared to start Tom Curry in Saturday’s pivotal Rugby World Cup clash with Argentina despite the Sale flanker going three months without a match.

Curry’s last competitive action was the Gallagher Premiership final on May 27.

The 25-year-old suffered an ankle injury in England training in the first week of August and subsequently missed the entire World Cup warm-up programme.

Curry is by far England’s most potent breakdown exponent, both in defence and attack, but has only returned to full training this week.

Attack coach Kevin Sinfield has now confirmed however that England have no qualms whatsoever about throwing in Curry from the start against the Pumas in Marseille this weekend.

Asked if Curry could start against Argentina, Sinfield replied: “We’ve got no doubt about that. He’s got a number of caps under his belt now and he’s been doing it for years.

“He can play a number of positions across the back row for us too. So we’re delighted he’s available.

“It’s great to see Tom out there, he’s been really good. Back-rows are so important to our defence and he’s been excellent.”

England expect to be able to select from a fully-fit squad, leaving just the banned duo of Owen Farrell and Billy Vunipola missing against Argentina. All 33 players in England’s squad trained in Le Touquet on Tuesday, with previous injury doubts Elliot Daly, George Martin and Kyle Sinckler all now fully eligible for selection.

England have leaked 30 tries in nine matches on Borthwick and Sinfield’s watch, but the Rugby League great has pulled no punches in his assessment of the Red Rose men’s current situation.

“Everybody’s trained again today so a clean bill of health, everybody’s ready,” said Sinfield.

“First of all I’d say that we’ve been quite clear over August that those Test matches meant something to us. To be one [win] from four is disappointing for us. We don’t feel that justifies how well we’ve trained.

“I also understand that as a defensive coach we’ve got to be so much better as well. We can’t concede as many tries as we have but the boys have worked incredibly hard to try and fix that. We look forward to taking a big step forward this weekend.”

England go into the World Cup at their lowest ebb in the professional era, ranked a record low of eighth, with a chaotic August comprising three losses from four matches.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Sinfield admitted knitting England together in a cohesive unit has taken extra time since he took up the role in December.

“I don’t think anything’s surprised me, it’s what I expected,” he said. “I spoke to Shaun Edwards and Phil Larder, and I had a couple of chats with Andy Farrell when we played against Ireland.

“So there are guys that have laid a path before me and understand the journey I’ve been on, or heading on. So particularly speaking to those guys has helped, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a straight line for those guys either.

“I didn’t expect this to be easy, I expected it to be tough, pulling together a group of players from very different systems, with very different personalities and characters, to try to get them on the same page has taken a lot longer than I probably envisaged.

“But I see a belief and a confidence in the group that they are as passionate as I am about it too.”