Daily Record


Owen insists England squad are right behind Curry after sick online abuse


OwEn FARRELL has blasted keyboard warriors and told Tom Curry the entire England squad has his back.

Curry starts England’s final World Cup game tomorrow against Argentina amid an ongoing investigat­ion after he alleged South Africa hooker Bongi Mbonambi made a racist slur against him.

The Sale flanker got the nod after convincing head coach Steve Borthwick he is in the right frame of mind to return to the Stade de France for the third-place play-off.

Curry, 25, who will win his 50th cap, has been the weeklong victim of online trolling, which his club condemned as “disgusting abuse”.

Farrell added his support just after Borthwick named a side containing seven of the semi-final starting line-up plus, for one last time, the nation’s most-capped player Ben Youngs.

Seething England captain Farrell said: “What isn’t understand­able is the amount of abuse he’s got. The effect the abuse has – not just on him – is what I and we really don’t understand.

“You are dealing with a human being. Just because you are saying stuff on your phone or behind a screen doesn’t make it acceptable.

“I hope he knows everyone close to him supports him and backs him all the way – I am sure he does.

“The people close to him, I hope they know he is being supported really well.” Farrell knows better than most how it feels to be in the eye of a social media storm, having been the player team-mates were defending in August after his red card against Wales.

He added: “It doesn’t make me look fondly on [social media] or on engaging with people outside of the people who are close to you.”

The case is set to drag on until after the weekend with World Rugby deciding to park it until the tournament is over, opening up an opportunit­y for the trolls to get typing.

Borthwick said: “This is not a Tom Curry incident. Somebody has said something in a game that he has reported. Now this is a World Rugby and SA Rugby matter to deal with.”

His club Sale agree, saying how “absolutely appalled” they are by the “nature and level of disgusting abuse” directed at their man and his family.

As Mbonambi trained with the Springboks ahead of Saturday’s showpiece with the All Blacks, team-mate Willie le Roux insisted he meant no harm by celebratin­g in the faces of players last weekend.

His actions sparked a fracas but he said: “There was no disrespect to any of the English players.

“I think they thought there was but it was just emotion.”

 ?? ?? TaRgeT Curry has copped abuse since allegation against Mbonambi, inset right
TaRgeT Curry has copped abuse since allegation against Mbonambi, inset right
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