Tom Curry: Damage limitation pays off for England over Rugby World Cup ban

Tom Curry: Damage limitation pays off for England over Rugby World Cup ban

England adopted a damage limitation approach to Tom Curry's disciplinary hearing in a bid to have the Sale flanker available for a possible Rugby World Cup quarter-final.

Curry was hit with a two-match suspension last night for his red card in Saturday's 27-10 victory over Argentina in Marseille.

The 25-year-old was sent to the sin-bin in the third minute of England's impressive win at Stade Velodrome, then had his yellow card upgraded to red.

The openside flanker pleaded guilty to the charge of a dangerous tackle in his head-on-head collision with Pumas full-back Juan Cruz Mallia.

The RFU are understood to have believed there would be grounds to challenge Curry's red card, especially in light of inconsistency across other incidents at the World Cup so far, but England bosses opted instead to accept the card and push for him to miss as few matches as possible.

Curry's guilty plea and acceptance of the level of his tackle meant he saw a mandatory six-week suspension cut in half, then an extra week removed for his desire to attend World Rugby's tackle school coaching session.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

All this means Curry will be available for England's final Pool D encounter, the clash against Samoa in Lille on October 7.

Chile captain Martin Sigren's yellow card against Japan was for an eerily similar contact as Curry's, while South Africa's Jesse Kriel clashed heads with Scotland's Jack Dempsey on Sunday, but the officials did not impose any sanction at all.

The RFU considered there would be grounds to challenge Curry's card in light of the inconsistency when contrasted with other decisions. England bosses, however, opted to push for the shortest absence by way of a guilty plea, and ultimately ended up with an outcome that allows Curry to return to action in this World Cup.

World Rugby have been resoundingly criticised for refereeing inconsistency across the first weekend of the World Cup.

England opted not to challenge World Rugby's authority on Curry's incident and are thought to be reasonably satisfied with the length of their star flanker's ban now.

Curry will miss Sunday's trip to Nice to face Japan and the clash against World Cup newcomers Chile.