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The gainline-busting Cardiff Rugby loosehead has been one of the form players in the URC and he wants his opportunity with Wales

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Tom Curry is ruled out for the start of England's Six Nations

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Alex Davidson/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

Alex Sanderson has confirmed that back-rower Tom Curry will be absent for the start of next month’s Guinness Six Nations campaign with England but the Sale boss has reported that the hamstring injury isn’t as bad as was originally feared. The 24-year-old, who skippered his country in the opening rounds of the 2022 Six Nations, limped out of action for the Sharks during the first half of last Sunday’s Gallagher Premiership win at Harlequins.

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At his post-game briefing, Sanderson said: “I have just spoken to Tom and said get your head on for the Six Nations but don’t stop being a leader for us over the next two or three weeks. He will get a scan. He is walking around and it has stiffened up now. It’s not one of those where he limped off the field so fingers crossed he will be available against Scotland.”

He won’t, unfortunately. The initial medical review suggested that Curry would be absent until March but that potential comeback date has been brought forward and Sale have now said he should definitely be available for the February 25 England match at Wales if not before that.

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“That’s positive from a rugby supporter’s point of view,” reckoned Sanderson when asked at his Wednesday morning media briefing for the latest Sale update in the extent of the Curry injury. “Obviously, I’d rather him not be injured.

“We thought 3C hamstring tear, but it is a 2C hamstring tear so it wasn’t as bad as originally thought. We got him scanned, got his assessed, got him re-assessed.

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“So a 3C would have been six to eight weeks (out) and he is looking to play at the back end of the Six Nations. With it being a 2C and with Tom being very diligent in his rehab, it means he could be back for Wales if not the second game (against Italy on February 12). But certainly Wales, so that is a real positive for England and for all of us because I want England to do well.”

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What is England regular Curry like when it comes to injury rehab? “He gets on with things quickly, at least on the outside he does… So seemingly he has got his head around it and as I said to him, ‘Just focus on the Six Nations, Tom, just get your head around’. Now that he knows it could have been six to eight (week layoff) and it’s more like four to six, he is a lot more positive about that.”

Sanderson also confirmed that it will be the January 27 Premiership match versus Bath when George Ford is finally ready to make his debut for the club – provided England don’t make him off-limits if they pick him in their squad.

Ford was injured in his last Leicester appearance, the Premiership final at Twickenham last June, and while he has yet to play for his new club, he attended a one-day England conditioning camp ahead of the January 16 announcement by Steve Borthwick of the Six Nations squad for a campaign that begins with the February 4 game at home versus Scotland.

“Bath is the plan for George at a push,” said Sanderson. “I am right in assuming they [England] can only pick a certain number. It will be interesting, won’t it? Marcus Smith hasn’t played. Neither has George. Owen is on form (but is now suspended).

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“Who do you pick, do you pick all three and two of them come through because I know they are going to pick 35 as a training squad and that gets released on Monday. I haven’t had any communication from Steve ariound it yet, probably because he knows I have got a mouth like a radio and I’d tell you (media) guys.”

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