Curry back to earth af­ter final heartache

SHARKS STAR HOPES TO BE IN­SPIRED BY WORLD CUP DE­FEAT

Manchester Evening News - - SPORT - By IAN LAYBOURN

TOM Curry says he will prob­a­bly never get over the dis­ap­point­ment of los­ing a World Cup final, but ad­mits re­turn­ing to a club en­vi­ron­ment at Sale has brought him quickly back down to earth.

The 21-year-old flanker en­joyed a huge tour­na­ment from a per­sonal per­spec­tive in Ja­pan but was un­able to pre­vent Eng­land suc­cumb­ing to a 32-12 de­feat by South Africa in Yoko­hama.

“It will prob­a­bly never go away but you don’t want it to,” Curry said at the Sharks’ train­ing ground in Car­ring­ton in his first week back at train­ing with the club since the tour­na­ment.

“That will def­i­nitely in­spire and push you to bet­ter things and the ex­pe­ri­ence gained was in­valu­able.

“Ob­vi­ously win­ning would def­i­nitely be bet­ter, but you’ve got to take those ex­pe­ri­ences with you.

“There will al­ways be an emo­tional at­tach­ment to it but you’ve got to push it to one side, es­pe­cially when you are play­ing for your club, or you will do them a dis-ser­vice.

“That’s the chal­lenge now, to push it to one side and def­i­nitely fully fo­cus on get­ting bet­ter and play­ing well for Sale.”

The pres­ence at train­ing of Spring­bok scrum-half Faf De Klerk will pro­vide a con­stant re­minder of the World Cup final heart­break, but Curry says the jibes have been com­ing from all corners.

“It’s prob­a­bly ev­ery­one else rather than Faf to be hon­est,” he said. “I think that is prob­a­bly what Sale are best at in terms of ground­ing their play­ers. You get grounded very quickly com­ing back. It is good to get down to busi­ness.”

Curry and De Klerk will both be back in ac­tion for Sale in Sun­day’s Heineken Cham­pi­ons Cup round two pool match against La Rochelle at the AJ Bell Sta­dium.

The Sharks are back in the big time in Europe and need a vic­tory af­ter los­ing their open­ing game against Glas­gow last Satur­day, al­though Curry says the im­por­tance of the match is ir­rel­e­vant.

“I ap­proach ev­ery game the same, to be hon­est,” he said. “Oth­er­wise you’ll be up and down like a roller­coaster. So treat ev­ery game the same.

“I’m sure La Rochelle are go­ing to be a great op­po­nent to play com­ing back, so we’re go­ing to have to be on the money this week.”

Mean­while, Curry is hop­ing Eddie Jones will stay on as Eng­land head coach for the next World Cup af­ter en­joy­ing a re­mark­able in­tro­duc­tion to the Test scene un­der the 59-yearold Aus­tralian, who is con­tracted up to 2021 but has made no com­mit­ment be­yond that date.

“I don’t have a crys­tal ball – there are peo­ple in higher po­si­tions that make those de­ci­sions – but he’s been an un­be­liev­able not just coach but men­tor in that he keeps you in check and makes sure you’re get­ting bet­ter ev­ery day,” Curry said.

“As a young­ster, learn­ing from those peo­ple and being around not just him but the en­vi­ron­ment that he cre­ates, is re­ally spe­cial, it’s some­thing he prob­a­bly in­grains into you how you are as a player mov­ing for­ward.”

Sale’s World Cup fi­nal­ists Tom Curry (right), Mark Wil­son (left) and South African hero Faf de Klerk back with Sale Sharks

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