The All Blacks great rookie skipper Tom Curry has been likened to
Eddie Jones has backed Tom Curry to impress after the 23-year-old back-rower was named the youngest England captain since Will Carling in 1988. The Sale player has been appointed to the role after injury ruled both Owen Farrell and Courtney Lawes out of contention for Saturday’s Guinness Six Nations opener away to Scotland.
Farrell was scratched from the entire championship on January 26 when he underwent an operation on a fresh ankle injury suffered at Saracens training while Lawes was ruled out from selection on Tuesday due to an ongoing issue with a concussion picked up last month when playing for Northampton.
That left vice-captain Curry primed for promotion and England boss Jones has suggested the influence that his new skipper wields on the squad in similar to how Richie McCaw cast his spell during the early years of his stellar All Blacks career which culminated in back-to-back World Cup triumphs.
“Players lead by example and there is no better player in our squad than Tom Curry to do that,” enthused Jones after he named an England team showing seven changes from the XV that started the last match of the November series against South Africa.
“He will lead by example. He reminds me of a young Richie McCaw that was able to lead by example and as his career progresses, there will be other bit and pieces of his captaincy that goes with that.
“But at the start of his career, it is all about leading by example, getting the team on the front foot. It goes in line with how we want to play the game. We want to go there and get on the front foot, we want to take Scotland on,” added Jones, going on to explain that it was during the autumn when the influence of Curry, a Test player with the 2021 Lions in South Africa, really grabbed his attention.
“It has been since autumn. He is a player that players like to play with. Not dissimilar to Owen. Owen was similar. Players like to play with those sorts of players that like to lead by example so he has got an opportunity. We are hopeful that Courtney will be back at some stage but for this week he (Curry) is the most important player to take that big C.”
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