Tuesday, June 15, 2021
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Eddie Jones hails Tom Curry progress as England flanker learns from modern greats including Richie McCaw

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Eddie Jones says it is “frightening” to think how good flanker Tom Curry could be by the time the 2023 Rugby World Cup rolls around after an all-action performance from the 22-year-old helped England to victory over France on Saturday.

England coach Jones praised the development of Curry’s attacking game after he beat three defenders and carried for 38 metres across 10 carries.

“He continues to impress us as a player that’s developing,” said Jones. “He’s still only 22, his body’s still filling out.

“But he’s become a real leader within our team, he drives the physical standards, drives the standards of the breakdown and he’s only going to keep improving. It’s frightening to think what he’s going to be like by the World Cup.

“He’s a strong boy, but he’s also got speed. The big thing he’s developed is his attacking game. He’s carrying the ball more than he used to.

“He was very much a pattern player, he fitted into a pattern of a team and we’re encouraging him to be more of a positional player, playing to the ball rather than away from the ball, which is generally the case for a pattern player. We feel like he is making great developments in that area.”

Jones said that Curry had been studying the games of Richie McCaw, the double World Cup-winning former All Blacks captain, and George Smith, the former Australia flanker.

“He watches videos of McCaw and George Smith who have been the foremost exponents of No7 play in the last 20 years,” Jones said. “But it’s [about] him developing that feel of getting his hands on the ball, wanting to be in the game, rather than fitting into the pattern of an attack. And he’s really developing in that area.”

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